Architecture for Dogs, the acclaimed exhibition which dogs can interact with, comes to London

The internationally toured exhibition is opening at Japan House, marking its first stop in Europe since originally opening in Miami in 2012.

16 September 2020


Since first opening at Design Miami in 2012, Architecture for Dogs, an exhibition which asks world-class architects to design objects and experiences for dogs, has gone on to to gain critical acclaim. This Saturday, the exhibition finally comes to Europe, opening at Japan House in London, having previously shown in Tokyo, Shanghai and São Paulo.

The free exhibition features work by some of the biggest names in the architecture world, including Shigeru Ban, Kengo Kuma, Sou Fujimoto and Toyo Ito, with the addition of a brand new piece by eminent UK architect Asif Khan in this latest iteration. “I think that cross-cultural exchanges of creativity are vital to us growing as individuals, and Japan House London is one of my favourite places to experience this,” Khan says. “There is always something fascinating to see there, but Architecture for Dogs may be the most unusual! The exhibition is a growing collection of some of the most interesting architects and designers in the world, it’s an honour to join them and contribute to the project.”

His contribution to the show is titled I See You and is “a minimalist seamless black felt surface that sits halfway between carpet and table, and features a crater in which a dog can nestle”. The idea is to place the dog at the heart of the home, and reflects how dogs gain their understanding of the world “from the ground upwards” using their nose.

Other works include Who’s the prettiest of them all?, a mirror created by Konstantin Grcic which allows dogs to gaze at themselves, built upon the knowledge that poodles love their own reflection. There’s also Candy floss cocoon, a hideaway where dog and structure blend into one, which is inspired by the Bichon Frise and created by Kazuyo Sejima.

A number of the exhibits will be available for dogs to interact with, and the Japan House shop will feature a range of canine-related items from Japan. What’s more, the exhibition allows visitors to becomes architects themselves, with blueprints available to download and opportunities to design your very own architecture for dogs. A series of virtual experiences is also on offer, including a 3D Tour (available later in the autumn), online talks and “live” guided tours.

Architecture for Dogs has always allowed us to see designers and architects as creative problem-solvers, story-tellers and even empathic futurists,” says Julia Y.C. Huang, CEO of Imprint, co-founder of Architecture for Dogs alongside Kenya Hara, President of the Nippon Design Center. “In its eighth year of inception,” she says, “we cannot help but think it has a special meaning for it to take place in 2020. In this time of uncertainty, I can be certain that a visit to Japan House London for this exhibition will bring smiles to your faces.”

GalleryJapan House: Architecture for Dogs (Copyright © Japan House London, 2020)


Wanmock by Torafu Architects for Jack Russell Terrier. Photo: Hiroshi Yoda.


Beagle House Interactive Dog House by MVRDV for Beagle. Photo: Hiroshi Yoda.


Paramount by Konstantin Grcic for Toy Poodle. Photo: Hiroshi Yoda.

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Japan House: Architecture for Dogs. D-Tunnel by Kenya Hara for Teacup Poodle. Photo: Hiroshi Yoda. (Copyright © Japan House London, 2020)

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About the Author

Ruby Boddington

Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.

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