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Japanese Design is an Object of Material Culture

Everything Japanese is elegant, flawless, and fascinating. In Japan, one is always stricken with an abundance of beautiful and inscrutable things. The special, spiritual beauty is inherent to everything that is produced in Japan, whether it is art, clothing, cuisine, or architecture; every detail is meticulously crafted. The complex of sophisticated details makes Japanese things unique in their integrity, they carry a love for beauty and harmony. This effect occurs due to the distinctive Japanese approach to the material culture. Each thing is attributed to a soul and bears the imprint of a divine presence. It creates the uncommon concept of Japanese design because the design is the expression of the divine essence of the object through an artist’s hands.

Interior design can also be considered as an object of material culture because it also reflects the basic principles and views of the Japanese on the world around them and human interaction with this world. Designing a Japanese interior certainly involves several principles that distinguish Japanese interiors from others.

The first one is the special organization of space. Space is planned so that nothing distracts from the harmony of being inside it, and nothing should distract from the process of reflection. The origin of this approach lies in the religious culture of Japan, in the syncretism of Shinto and Zen Buddhist beliefs. Sufficient amount of air, symmetry, minimalism, and simplicity. Finishing materials shouldn’t be too loud and gaudy, draw too much attention to themselves. Even small rooms are furnished so that people won’t feel trapped in them. Volume is no longer a constraint as there is a good solution for its correct use. Nothing prevents the natural energy from balancing inside the room.

The second principle is to use light in space organizing. Typically homes built in the Japanese style apply the next type of lighting: natural sunlight is used during the daytime and spotlight, focusing on individual items, is used in the evening. Large windows are used to allow sufficient sunlight to illuminate the rooms, sometimes the windows go from the floor right to the ceiling. Screen and paper partitions regulate the amount of light inside rooms.

Японский современный интерьер

There is no need to use special artificial lightning to add some magic to the living space. The Japanese know how to use the laws of physics to create light illusions. A paper screen in this case not only softens the power of sunlight but also adds light accents.
In the evening, spotlighting is used to accentuate individual objects.

Интерьер в японском стиле фото
Японский дизайн интерьера

Japanese paper lanterns also serve as additional lighting and design accents: their mysterious subdued lighting made them very popular all over the world. 

The third principle is the harmony between a human being and nature. To create natural warmth, Japanese designers use many natural materials in the interior – wood, stone, paper, etc. The presence of them has a calming effect and brings positive energy. They are not cheap, but the high cost of natural materials is fully justified; they will last much longer and will not lose their appearance in several years compared to artificial substitutes. That is why the Japanese have been building their houses with wood since ancient times and are very reverent towards wood as a material.

A special advantage of using natural materials is that they harmoniously catch and reflect the light so that the inner space gets much warmer. Natural materials perfectly combine with artificial ones like glass, metal, and plastic, which creates a state-of-the-art interior.

Спальня эко минимализм
Частный дом в японском стиле

A miniature home garden is another significant element of the Japanese interior designs. Japanese landscape artists are one of the most in-demand specialists in this market. 

Пентхаус в стиле минимализм
Японский сад камней

The Japanese approach to art also deserves special attention. Of course, the Japanese use objects of art in interior design, but they do it extremely carefully, with their inherent minimalism. The house may have only one screen and one vase, but these objects will be carefully selected as if they were created together with other interior details. Therefore, they will be the aesthetic center of the room. Objects of art are highlighted to attract more attention, so there are elaborated lighting systems designed specifically for the art.

Гостиная в японском стиле
Японский интерьер квартиры

As we can see, the Japanese interior with all its simplicity is a complicated system of objects with all elements creating an integrated harmonious image. The Japanese love to select every detail matching the concept. An artist always tries to express an idea through metaphysical symbols; in the Japanese interior, every detail is a certain symbol. 

It can be a bamboo or a ceramic vase:

Японский стиль интерьера
Ваза в японском интерьере

A lamp or a screen: 

Лампа в стиле минимализм
Японские ширмы

A wooden dresser or a flower:

Японская мебель
Икебана в дизайне интерьера

All these elements in their unity will absolutely lead a person to a more broad comprehension of the world.  

Kasugai Architects+ actively cooperates with artists and designers from Japan and can offer a wide range of services related to the design of unique architectural, interior and landscape projects. Please contact us for assistance and we will make you a personalized, tailor-made offer upon your request.

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