ARCHITECTURE FOR DOGS: The Future of Drawing Delivery?

The other day I googled ‘Sejima House Plans’ and this popped up:

Kazuyo Sejima’s “Architecture for the Bichon Frise”

It peaked my curiosity, so I clicked on it. A video started showing Sejima and that dog. It showed that what I had at first thought was the result of an eccentric visit to the groomers was actually an elaborate dog-bustier. It showed the dog modeling the object and then it showed how one could construct the object at home.

At first I imagined that this was someone with free time and enthusiasm for dogs & famous architects. I assumed that they were making objects for dogs in the spirit of famous architects. Oh, how wrong I was! It turns out that Kenya Hara, the creative director of MUJI for the last 10+ years, started, “Architecture for Dogs,” a year ago. He solicited designs from 11 very famous architects (MVRDV, Atelier Bow Wow, Toyo Ito, Shigeru Ban, and on). Each one comes with the video I described, which is worth a watch for both the cuteness factor and the artistic direction: the colors are right, the compositions and typography are nice, and each one features a striking animation showing how to assemble the object.

Atelier Bow Wow’s “Architecture for Long-Bodied-Short-Legged Dog”

These assembly animations got me thinking about the relevance of contemporary architectural representation. For built projects, architects provide printed construction documents and three-dimensional (digital) Building Information Models. But this model is only relevant in the developed world. With recent technological advances that have lowered the price & infrastructural requirements of computers, one can imagine the assembly animation negotiating the vacant territory between conventional means of representation and the site-supervision model that currently prevails in the developing world. As 3D-modeling programs become more accessible (e.g. SketchUp) and more integral to the way we interface with the world (e.g. Google Earth) we can also envision a future in which the Google Warehouse becomes a repository for construction knowledge, rather than just a bank of forms.

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