Furniture for Cats+Humans, 2015
Unfinished wood IKEA shelves, branches, tatami mats, wood, LED’s, household items
An experiment in designing multi-use, multi-species living spaces. Performance by Kiki the cat.
I designed furniture with minimal structural barriers with the intent of minimizing relational barriers between cat, human, and environment. Furniture that is simultaneously useful for both cats and humans was highly influenced by the mutable structures of traditional Japanese houses. The open design of these houses connect their interior with their surrounding environment, and have been well described by Japanese architect and professor Atsushi Ueda:
“In western architecture, a wall is something which shuts out exterior heat, noise, light and air and at the same time protects the occupants from intruders. In Japan, the various functions a wall is expected to serve are much vaguer. In traditional reference works… the meaning of a wall is given as an ‘architectural partition.’…The Japanese wall was at most a space partition and an interruption of the line of sight…
From the beginning there has been a fundamental structural difference between the western and the Japanese residence. A western home begins from the interior side of the front door of the building, whereas a Japanese home begins from the inside of the wall around the property. The garden is considered a component of the house. It is precisely because of this that from ancient times the relationship between the garden and the rooms of the house has been one of continuity, with each flowing into the other in an open fashion.”