From gadgets and decor, to hotels and architecture; MUJI has become a leader in minimalist design with their sustainable, affordable and innovative products. Originally founded in Japan in 1980, MUJI offers a wide variety of quality products
including household goods, apparel and food. Their full name—Mujirushi Ryōhin—translates to “no brand, good quality” as part of their anti-branding movement, which has been their main marketing tool and key to success over the years. Known for their unique and distinctive designs, MUJI is described as a ‘no frills’, minimal lifestyle brand based around the selection of materials, manufacturing process and minimal packaging.
“At the heart of MUJI design is the Japanese concept of Kanketsu, the concept of simplicity, aiming to bring a quiet sense of calm into strenuous everyday lives”.
MUJI is based on three core principles, which remain unchanged to this day:
1. Selection of materials
2. Streamlining of processes
3. Simplification of packages
Their products are designed to be neutral, everyday essentials; aiming to provide low priced, high quality goods. Ranging from stationery and clothing to food, major kitchen appliances and beyond; MUJI has it all.
Faithful to their philosophy of simplicity, the brand enforces a policy of conserving resources and reducing waste. Thus, referring back to their ‘no branding’ ethics, products appear on store shelves in simple packaging bearing only product-related information and price tags.
The latest unveiling from the Japanese lifestyle brand are the first-ever MUJI hotels. Built in China and Japan, the hotels are designed in MUJI’s beloved minimalist style and furnished with MUJI’s own eclectic product range, aiming to reflect the brand’s lifestyle philosophy.
Like it’s stores, MUJI Hotel’s atmosphere is relaxed and meditative, with natural materials for the interiors and courtyards, including pillars and walls sourced from traditional Chinese homes, making the hotel rather eco-friendly and keeping their signature minimalist but stylish vibe.
Facilities include gyms, libraries, laundry rooms, in-house diners and more. The hotel even offers free bike rental, encouraging guests to explore the local culture.
“Who hasn’t dreamt of living somewhere they really want to be? The tools to make that dream a reality are now available. It’s not as dramatic as owning a house or a vacation home, but it’s not as basic as going on a trip.
Put it in the mountains, near the ocean, or in a garden, and it immediately blends in with the surroundings, inviting you to a whole new life.
This was the vision behind our radically new MUJI Hut concept.”
The MUJI Huts are elegant, yet simplistic, as per MUJI’s famous minimalist aesthetic.
Only 9-square-meters, the cabin is constructed in timber surfaces, lined in domestic fir wood and completed with a light-tone colour palette, creating a cozy and welcoming character. Sliding glass doors let in ample natural light and open up to a small covered patio. The simplicity of the design makes it easy for the microhome to adapt to variety of environments and uses.
Since 2004, MUJI has been building minimalist homes for city dwellers that maximizes living space through simple, effective design. Featuring brightly lit spaces and plenty of storage, the stunning three-storey house shuts out the hustle and bustle of Tokyo with tranquility and style. Designed to maximize its small city plot, it features three levels with a minimalist aesthetic that’s so common in Japanese architecture.
Consistent to their brand philosophy, the MUJI Houses are small but highly customizable “empty” boxes. Measuring roughly 90 ~ 130 square meters in size, MUIJ’s belief in ‘small and simple’ housing existed long before the tiny house movement began.
MUJI has debuted three different models of theses tiny homes; The Wood House, The Window House and The Vertical House. All three models are built around the concept of a ‘one room house’, meaning that the entire space is designed as one large, single room. There are no walls to divide rooms, and the floors are connected using double ceilings and high windows. Furniture or partitions can be used as dividers as needed.
For MUJI, “living small” is not a passing fad, it is a natural result of their pursuit to help people design their own lifestyle.
The “Vertical House” was introduced to overcome the lack of space surrounding the urban living environment of Tokyo. MUJI cleverly designed the three-storied “Vertical House” to accommodate this ever-growing problem. There are six “skip” floors in the house below a central open ceiling, in which are the windows that provide sunlight and air throughout the house. The six floors, or modules, come in different heights to invigorate the limited space; allowing for a kitchen, a living room or a bedroom with owners free to arrange them as they’d like.
The “Wood House”; inspired by the ‘Box House’ designed by architect, Kazuhiko Namba, was created to change people perception on the ‘ideal house’.
Despite it’s size, The Wood House boasts multiple points of view, stratifying the sense of space, strategically designed to maximize the comfort and usefulness of limited space.
The typical MUJI house owner is a family of three or four – parents in their late 30’s or early 40’s, with young children; essentially redefining the ideals of the ‘suburban home’ as viewed by many families in Western society.
The “Window House” emphasizes a minimal exterior, highlighted by white walls and triangular roof. The windows in this house are the central features, acting as gateways to connect inside and outside. MUJI believe that the windows have a major impact on the living situation based on their size and placement, allowing the owner to decide where to install them based on its relationship with outside surroundings.