Tiny Houses For The Masses

Japanese design brand Muji has presented an affordable prefab micro-house, that will go on sale from August this year.

In the age of increasing flexibility, especially in urban centers, architects and designers alike come up with creative and innovative ideas to decrease the space taken up by housing, while not necessarily cutting down on what a house can provide for you. In line with this, Japanese retailer Muji has launched a trio of minimalistic refuges for the Tokyo Design Week back in 2015. While these huts were primarily designed for the Design Week and some even lack a kitchen or a bathroom, the prefabricated, nine square-metre hut that will go on sale later this year, is a whole different story.

The Muji Hut will be available for sale in Japan from August this year. The tiny hut is designed in such a way that it suits a wide variety of locations. Think mountains, near the ocean or in a garden. Falling somewhere in between a holiday home and a permanent residence, the Muji Hut is not as much a commitment as owning a house, but also more than pitching your tent somewhere.

The interior (9 square meters) and the patio (3 square meters) are made entirely of Japanese wood, which is made more resistant towards fire, insects and decay, and being built on a concrete foundation, the house is protected against moisture from the ground as well. Even though Muji is yet to release a date for the sale outside of Japan, the launch of the Muji Hut for mainstream use might just mark the beginning of a new era of housing, where less is more and everyone can shift focus towards more flexibility in housing, without having to sacrifice good design and quality of materials.

The trend towards minimalism is certainly not a new one, and in the last years it has spread to a variety of areas in our lives. We are less and less inclined to just own things — instead we increasingly prefer access over ownership. But that does not just limit itself to music, movies and facilities, but also to our preferred way of housing.