• We joined Task Force on COVID-19 at International WELL Building Institute
    Yoko Kawai, a co-founder of Mirai Work Space and principal of Penguin Environmental Design, has just joined Task Force on COVID-19 and other Respiratory Infections at The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). Yoko contributes to the Mind, Movement, and Community emphases of the Task Force. Having long explored the value of these spatial concepts in…
  • Creative & Healthy Ways to Use Your Home to Work at Home
    Do you work at home and feel stressed and enprisoned? Your home should help you. I’d like to share some tips on how you could use it in creative ways to stay well while working at home. I learned these tips over the years from two resources. One is my research on teleworkers and their…
  • Noguchi’s Body-Space Devices & Our Environment in this Crisis
    If you are forced to stay at home in this COVID-19 crisis, the architecture of your home might seem like the enclosure that stops you from moving. The “Body-Space Devices” exhibition at the Noguchi Museum is a good reminder that it should not be.
  • Michiyuki and the Katsura Imperial Villa
    Michiyuki: Traveling and Beyond Being under water blurs the self/space boundary because you are always in motion. Michiyuki, the Japanese spatial concept for “moving self,” means traveling from once place to another. It specifically refers to the space you covered and the time you spent while traveling. But by translating Michiyuki to “traveling,” something is…
  • Mindfulness through Ma
    More than a gate Another Japanese spatial concept that contributes to designing a mindful space is the boundary in motion. One of the Japanese words for this is Ma, which generally means “gap.” The Chinese character for Ma (間) represents a gate made out of two doors with the moonlight coming through. But Ma is much more…
  • Utsuroi in Japanese Architecture and Landscape
    Utsuroi: changing space Utsuroi, another Japanese spatial concept that causes the self/space boundary to blur, is present throughout Japanese architecture and gardens. Utsuroi means gradual and inevitable change from one state to another. It can also refer to reflection or projection of one thing onto another. Both meanings suggest that nothing is reliable, and everything is…
  • Healthy and Creative: Recent Design for Daikin U.S. New York Office
    As a founding member of Mirai Work Space Alliance, we have recently designed a new office space for Daikin U.S. Corporation in New York. This renovation project aimed to enhance the company’s brand image and provide a healthy and creative environment to its employees by applying the idea of “Space for Well-being“. Brand image and…
  • Yugen and the Art of Mysteriousness in Japanese Architecture
    Yugen: appreciating the unknown Japan is a country made up of islands. Surrounded by the ocean, its climate is humid and constantly changing. Along the coast, high mountains are often covered in mist and fog. In part, familiarity with these transforming, obscured landscapes–as seen in this scroll from the Edo period–is what creates the Japanese…
  • Self, Space, and Beyond: Where and How Do We Experience Mindfulness?
    Connections between the mind, body, and environment Imagine you are walking through an outdoor path in Kyoto, surrounded by bamboo. While you walk, your blood pressure happens to decrease. Is it because you are taking in the smells of the bamboo as you walk? Is your mind communicating a positive reaction to the space to…

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