Fascinating Japanese Minimalism

When we think of Japanese style we think of minimalist spaces, wood, delicate hand-painted ceramics, simplicity, as seen on Elle Decoration UK’s front cover.


Nowhere was this better represented than in the Barbican’s exhibition The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945.

The exhibition features a full-size model of Ryue Nishizawa’s Moriyama House. Designed in 2005, Nishizawa sought to challenge the format of the typical Japanese house, deconstructing the home into ten separate components. The bathroom separated from the bedroom, the bedroom from the kitchen by outside spaces.

Nishizawa’s aim was to present a house intimately linked within the city. And through this Nishizawa created the most remarkable presentation of Japanese style. Small spaces, devoid of mess, ceramics, minimal furniture and well-thumbed books. Each object had been perfectly placed as if the homeowner had just stepped out.


The Japanese have a wonderful ability to create a complete aesthetic without very much. An idea us Westerners should learn from in our cluttered and materialistic homes.

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945
Barbican from 23 March 2017 - 25 June 2017.