Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design

3/20/2014

Shigeru Ban's apartment only has six pieces of furniture

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

Whenever my parents visit my apartment, they always ask me when my husband and I intend to buy furniture. Our answer? "Maybe someday," which in my mind translates to "Never, if we can help it."

My husband and I have ascetic tendencies when it comes to our domestic environment. We believe in doing more with less, even when we're not forced by space constraints to be economical. When we moved into our new place, we deliberately made room for...well...room. We like our space, it turns out so does Shigeru Ban.

A CNN slideshow recently revealed the inside of Ban's apartment in Tokyo. "He lives with no objects at all except four chairs, a table and a simple bed," says curator Francesca Molteni. "It's just light and trees." Molteni has curated "Where Architects Live," an installation recreating the apartments of eight renowned designers like Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, and Daniel Liebskind for this year's Salone del Mobile.

Shigeru Ban's living room via Metropolis. Courtesy Hiroyuki Hirai.
Ban's apartment more severe than mine, but I can appreciate the calming effect of having almost no possessions in your home. In a world transfixed with objects, the spartan nature of his living quarters reminds me that there is more to life than having the most, collecting the best, or acquiring the finest. The most important things in life are often those beyond the material.



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