The Very Small Home: Japanese Ideas for Living Well in Limited Space

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Kodansha International, 2005 - Architecture - 111 pages
4 Reviews
The Very Small Home is an inspiring new book that surveys the creative design innovations of small houses in Japan. Eighteen recently built and unusual houses, from ultramodern to Japanese rustic, are presented in depth. Particular emphasis is given to what the author calls the "big idea" for each house-the thing that does the most to make the home feel more spacious than it actually is. Big ideas include ingenious sources of natural light, well thought-out loft spaces, snug but functional kitchens, unobtrusive partitions, and unobstructed circulation paths.

An introduction puts the houses in the context of lifestyle trends and highlights their shared characteristics. The Houses section details each project the intentions of the designers and occupants are explained. The result is a very human sensibility that runs through the book, a glimpse of the dreams and aspirations that these unique homes represent and that belies their apparent modesty. The second half of the book is devoted to illustrating the special features in the homes, from storage and kitchen designs to revolutionary skylights and partitions.

Building small can be a sign of higher ambitions, and those who read this book will undoubtedly grow to appreciate that building a small home can be an amazingly positive and creative act, one which can enhance one's life in surprising ways. In The Very Small Home, Brown has given home owners, designers, and architects a fascinating new collection of ideas.

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The very small home: Japanese ideas for living well in limited space

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Japan has long been recognized as a leader in creating small, well-designed living spaces. Brown (The Japanese Dream House ) showcases 18 architect-designed homes that he feels exemplify that ... Read full review

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Good book about different housing styles of Japan

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About the author (2005)

AZBY BROWN was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He studied architecture at Yale College. In 1985 he received a grant from the Japanese Ministry of Education to do research at the Architecture Department of the University of Tokyo, where in 1988 he received a master's degree. He is the author of several books, including The Genius of Japanese Carpentry, Small Spaces, and The Japanese Dream House. He became Associate Professor of Architectural Design at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology in 1995, where he has also accepted a position in the Department of Media Informatics. He opened the Future Design Institute in Tokyo where he currently serves as Director. Brown lives in Yokohama with his wife and son.

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