“IN THE MOUNTAINS, NEAR THE OCEAN, OR IN A GARDEN, AND IT IMMEDIATELY BLENDS IN WITH THE SURROUNDINGS, INVITING YOU TO A WHOLE NEW LIFE.”
These are the words of MUJI, the Japanese lifestyle brand, which envisages the recently released ‘MUJI Hut.’ Gleaming through digital screens, the webpage display backdrops of what is seen as epitomes of beautiful landscapes. Slowly shifting from one scene to the next, the scenes are accompanied by tranquil nature sounds (the same type you could listen to via the application ‘MUJI to Relax’). All in all, it is as if MUJI wants us to imagine ourselves looking out to the scenery beyond from the ‘MUJI Hut’ itself.
Followed by a series of holiday cabins designed by Naoto Fukasawa, Konstantin Grcic, and Jasper Morrison, the concept is minimized into a hut that encapsulates a box-like standalone room, small enough that it could be situated anywhere. With approximately 9 m2 of space, MUJI states that it is large enough for 3-4 people to relax in. The only entrance is through the large sliding doors (at first intended for a shop), which are complemented by a smaller window situated on the opposite wall, allowing for air ventilation and natural light to pour in. As for the exterior, the hut is cladded with burnt cedar wood. The process was borrowed from the traditional art of Japanese shipbuilding and is said to give the walls enhanced antiseptic properties and increased durability, suitable for the outdoors. As the renowned minimalist that they are, MUJI leaves the interior of the hut in untreated cedar to allow for further customization by the owners. One is encouraged to leave the earthen floor as it is for easy cleaning, or adjustments could be made via rugs or additional floorings.
Set to go on sale this Autumn, the MUJI Hut is unfortunately only available in Japan. With Tokyo being one of the most populous cities in the world, some urbanites may be anticipating an escape from their crowded capital. “Who hasn’t dreamt of living somewhere they really want to be? The tools to make that dream a reality are now available.” These hopeful words possibly echo the collective dreams of the modern-day Japanese society. After all, MUJI isn’t only trying to sell a readily constructed hut, but perhaps also a ready-made Japanese dream.
TEXT: VIRADA BANJURTRUNGKAJORN