Pop-Up Architecture For Sale At Your Local Household Store

What is more appealing than, after a hectic week at work, escaping the city to retreat in your quiet and cozy tiny house? In most occassions, these huts are relatively basic and characterized by a standardized, minimalist interior. However, urbanites increasingly favor such an ‘escape’ from crowded cities, be it combined with a pinch of style.

It seems as if ‘minimal living’ has got itself a new meaning. For Tokyo Design Week, Muji presented a series of ‘Muji Huts‘ — elegantly styled escapes, equipped with the most basic needs. Muji Huts are highly suitable for means of relaxation, taking time and enjoying nature. Muji invited three designers in the likes of Jasper Morrison, Naoto Fukawasa and Konstantin Grcic, to work out their ideas for a Muji Hut.

Muji Hut by Jasper Morrison
Muji Hut by Jasper Morrison

Muji Hut by Jasper Morrison

Muji Hut by Konstantin Grcic
Muji Hut by Konstantin Grcic

Muji Hut by Konstantin Grcic

What the Muji Huts by Morrison, Grcic and Fukawasa have in common, is that they all hold a basic and modest design, while offering space for relaxation and various (social) activities. Morrison’s design is characterized by zones for daily activities such as cooking, sleeping and washing — perfect for a short getaway. As for Grcic’s hut, its compact footprint makes it an easy constructable design that doesn’t require any building permits. Fukawasa has made sure that in his design for a Muji Hut, large view-enabling windows are incorporated. Additionally, the presence of a kitchen table, kitchenette and woodstove make it really ‘homey’.

Muji Hut by Naoto Fukawasa
Muji Hut by Naoto Fukawasa

Muji Hut by Naoto Fukawasa

With their pre-fab design, the tiny houses remove complexity from the building process. What is even more interesting, however, is that a big retailer like Muji is single-handedly creating an entire market for tiny pop-up houses. Commercializing these kinds of stylish ‘retreats’ and turning them into (mass) products is an interesting trend that, apparently, embodies a growing desire to escape the daily urban hustle and bustle among many.