Small Spaces is about living comfortably and using space wisely, and where better to find ideas on that subject than Japan, one of the world's most urban and densely populated countries? Tokyo resident Azby Brown, a distinguished architect and designer, has assembled dozens of creative solutions to space and storage problems, illustrating them with photographs and plans of actual living environments in contemporary homes.
The key to his approach is what might be called "The Three Cs "-compact, comfortable, and convenient. Use of space is reconsidered, with easy living always the uppermost goal. A living room is opened up by creating level changes or "joining it with the exterior." A staircase can double as a chest of drawers, a space beneath the floor can serve as a kitchen pantry or hiding place for a disappearing bed: an adjustable table can serve different purposes at different heights. From top to bottom, in bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and hall, Azby Brown presents solutions to the problems of inner space, illustrated with dozens of full-color photographs, drawings, and architectural plans.
Small Spaces will be a lifesaver for all those with growing families, shrinking resources, and limited room to grow-or indeed anyone who wants to transform a disorganized, cluttered environment into an orderly, attractive living area.
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Drawing upon the sparse tranquility of Japanese design, architect and Tokyo resident Azby Brown explains how to live comfortably in limited or overcrowded domains. By rethinking our approach to space, utilizing seemingly dead areas (under-floor or under-stairs storage, for example), creating multipurpose or convertible areas, and reconsidering layout, we can make the most of what we have. Some of these homes carry Eastern minimalism to an extreme that clutter-prone Westerners may not be comfortable with, but there are plenty of ingenious furniture, storage, and planning solutions nevertheless. --Amy HandyAbout the Author:
AZBY BROWN is an architect who has lived in Japan since 1985. A native of New Orleans, he received a bachelor's degree in f ine art from Yale College in 1980, and a master's degree in architecture from the University of Tokyo, where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate, in 1988. He is also the author of The Genius of Japanese Carpentry and The Japanese Dream House: How Technology and Tradition Are Shaping New Home Design. His visual and verbal ideas have reached a wide international audience through frequent lectures, publications, and exhibitions.
YOSHIO SHIRATORI has photographed interiors and exteriors since 1962. He was the recipient of the Interior Designers' Association prize in 1987. Shiratori's work appears in major Japanese design and architecture magazines throughout Japan.
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