Architecture for Dogs: Sparky Can Finally Sit on the Furniture

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Architecture for Dogs
Hara Design Institute
Pet spas. Puppy training camp where they actually come pick up your pooch in a bone-printed school bus. Poodles with hot pink nail polish wearing Dolphins jerseys.

There are few things this reporter hasn't seen when it comes to what animal enthusiasts will do to their pets, especially in Miami. However, now that Art Basel's creeped its way back into the city's winter art programming, it's put a unique spin on the relationship between human and dog.

Architecture for Dogs, a company founded by world-renowned Japanese designer Kenya Hara in partnership with Imprint Venture Lab, is about to launch an exhibition in the Design District with Design Miami/ for the first time ever. The structures developed by international designers and architects seek to explore how people can apply architecture to different aspects of life through relatable experiences. In this case, puppies! Who doesn't love a fluffy, ball chasing, tail wagging pooch? (If you don't, it's obvious this article wasn't for you a long time ago.)

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Architecture for Dogs
Torafu Wanmock
The collection will feature 13 breed-specific architectural structures including never before seen works by Hara (Teacup Poodle), Atelier Bow-Wow (Dachshund), Shigeru Ban (Papillion), Sou Fujimoto (Boston Terrier), Torafu Architects (Jack Russell Terrier) and many other designers and canines.

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Architecture for Dogs
Toyo Ito
They "did a ton of research in conjunction to the needs of different breeds of dogs and their temperament," Doug Roche, spokes representative for the project, said of the work that's been three years in the making.

November 15 marked the launch of Architecture for Dogs, arguably the cutest website ever, featuring all of the pieces as well as free, interactive and downloadable blueprints for any dog lover who wants to build his/her pup a unique piece for them both to enjoy.

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Architecture for Dogs
Atelier Bow-Wow
"Some pieces are meant to put a dog at the same level as the human because one of the concepts they were looking at is that dogs spend a lot of time looking up at their owners...another one is kind of like a walking plank for a dog, you can make multiple versions of them and stack them on top of each other and the humans can also sit on the pieces as well...[one structure is] made from a few wooden pieces that clip together and then you stretch the owner's t-shirt to make a kind of canopy for the dog and the idea behind that is that dogs are typically most comfortable with the owner's smell nearby," Roche said.

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Architecture for Dogs
Shingeru Ban
Some pieces are indoor and some are outdoor; most are designed for smaller dogs but as the project expands in the coming years so will the pieces. The website also features step by step instructional videos that are simple to follow.

The exhibit curated by Hara, who designed the opening and closing ceremonies of the Nagano Winter Olympic Games 1998, will also feature a "Open House for Dogs" which allows visitors to stop by with their pets and try out designs from the collection, take pictures of their pooches with their favorite structures and then directly upload them to the website.

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Architecture for Dogs
Kenya Hara
If you manage to pry your eyes off the website, take your paw pack to the actual exhibit so they can test out the goods.

Architecture for Dogs opens to the public at 3 p.m. Wednesday, December 5 and runs through Sunday, December 9 at the Buena Vista Building, 180 NE 39th St., Unit 112 Miami. The "Open House for Dogs" takes place Thursday, December 6, through Saturday, December 8, from 3 to 5 p.m.

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