Japanese designers are deservedly regarded as masters of small-space living (the inevitable result of living in one of the world's most densely populated places).
Muji — one of those designers — is the Japanese equivalent of IKEA. Only you can't buy a house at IKEA. With luck, we'll soon be able to buy one at Muji, which recently showcased a trio of "huts" at a Japanese design fair.
This isn't the brand's first foray into pre-fab residential projects. Last year, they debuted the three-story-high, 14 1/2-foot-wide Vertical House.
These new huts take that concept and miniaturize it. British designer Jasper Morrison created the Hut of Cork, in which lightweight building material is deployed everywhere from the exterior shingles to the door knobs.
The Hut of Aluminum, by German Konstantin Grcic, riffs on shipping containers for a bi-level studio with a metal exterior and plywood walls.
But our favorite is the local option, seen at top. Japanese product designer Naoto Fukasawa created a Hut of Wood that's meant to occupy a space somewhere between a summer cabin and a more barebones retreat, with wood interiors, a stove and floor-to-ceiling windows. Also: a traditional Japanese bathtub.
We'd like one for next summer, thanks.