Shukaijo House (Fragile Shelter)

by Hidemi Nishida

Japanese artist and designer Hidemi Nishida created the Fragile Shelter using just wood and plastic screens. The 20-sq-m rests atop stilts (above snow) in a forested area, with six identical cabin-like forms resting at slighting offset levels. ‘I grew up in Otaru, one of Hokkaido’s oldest cities with a lot of historical architecture,’ Nishida explains. ‘I love to walk through the town, and I saw an impressive scene of small, old, wooden and flat houses built on a very narrow slant. People live in these dilapidated houses for long time and repair the fragile houses themselves.’ Nishida says this is the ‘essence of life’ and was inspired to hand-make a shelter from scratch. According to Nishida, today people buy houses from companies or architects, but instead should build their own houses for comfort. ‘In childhood, many people make cardboard houses or something similar,’ Nishida says. ‘My goal is to make something like a cardboard house that reminds us of childhood, with a sense of being one’s own corner of the world.’

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