With a partner, you will be asked to build a shoebox model of a Japanese house or apartment that incorporates the traditional design elements you have studied in this unit. The purpose of building the model is two-fold:
Your house/apartment model must have some traditional Japanese-style rooms. In other words, the entire house may be traditional style, or it may be a modern mixture of Western-style and traditional Japanese rooms (this type of mixture is very common in Japan today). Overall, the house/apartment must be livable which means that it includes an entrance, kitchen, bathing room, toilet, sleeping/living space, and windows.
Below are photographs of previous years' students' models. BE CAREFUL and note that they are ONLY EXAMPLES--they are NOT necessarily 100% culturally accurate or perfect!
Then, scroll further down to see specific project requirements.
This group built a two-story house from 2 tissue boxes. Note the staircase (lower center). The oshiire contains futon bedding.
This group did a good job showing shoji for outside walls, and fusuma for inside walls and closet doors. Note their built-in tokonoma as well.
This student cleverly added photos from furniture magazines to make his room look more realistic.
This house has a good genkan with street shoes shown on the lower level, and slippers shown on the upper level. There's even a cabinet for shoes (yellow) next to the door.
As for specifically traditional design elements, your model must include:
Your model must also be built approximately to scale. This is extremely important. Everyone's house must be the same scale so that you can compare/contrast the various houses using the language patterns learned in this unit. Use the tatami floor mat xeroxes given to you in class. Remember that a tatami mat length equals one adult's height, so that approximately 2 inches = 5 feet. Please don't shrink or enlarge the xeroxed tatami on the copier.
tokonoma: decorative alcove | genkan: entryway | shoji and fusuma: paper wall panels | butsudan: Buddhist altar | kamidana: Shinto altar | ofuro-ba: bathing room | oshi-ire: closets
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