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A new book proves pets get the best design

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Paw-some structures for dogs, cats, birds, fish, bees, and more

futuristic cat house
Pet-tecture: Design for Pets, a new book from Phaidon, features over 200 structures for animals, like catHAUS by SPACE International.
Joshua White

Architect-designed homes for pets aren’t new. Zaha Hadid Architects created a kennel. Muji art director Kenya Hara created an entire website dedicated to architecture for dogs. Even Frank Lloyd Wright designed a home for hounds. Though small in scale, these structures are inventive, experimental, and—of course—downright cute.

Pet-tecture: Design for Pets, a new book from Phaidon, surveys over 200 of contemporary design’s most delightful products, homes, and ideas for animals of all types: dogs, cats, bees, horses, hermit crabs, chickens, and more. It’s “meant to be a practical, aesthetic, and symbolic celebration of animal-human companionship through design,” writes author Tom Wainwright in the book’s introduction.

Cage Archibird, by Gregoire de Laforrest, riffs on a bird cage and cabinet of curiosities.
Jérôme Galland
DIY Concrete Dog House, by Ben Uyeda for HomeMade Modern, can be made using readily available hardware store materials.
Ben Uyeda

These designs celebrate the animals for which they’re designed, but they also reflect larger issues impacting the built world. Green & Blue’s Bee Block and Bee Brick offer a place for solitary bees affected by climate change. Aki Inomata’s 3D-printed homes for hermit crabs were designed for an exhibition commemorating France returning some of its embassy land to Japanese ownership, and evokes sentiments about migration and colonialism.

Hiroshi Nato’s Dog Cooler bed features aluminum pipes that can be filled with ice so that animals can lay across them and cool down on hot days. Gitta Gschwendtner’s Animal Wall separates an apartment complex from a riverfront pathway while also providing habitat for birds.

Shelter for Hermit Crabs by Aki Inomata features miniature 3D-printed versions of famous buildings.
Aki Inomata courtesy of Maho Kubota Gallery
Elevator B, a bee “skyscraper” designed by University at Buffalo students, lets people easily inspect the colony and is made from perforated metal.
Waterscape, by Haruka Misawa, includes 3D-printed sculptures that would collapse from their own weight if they were outside of water.
Masayuki Hayash
Made from artificial leather, the Nendo-designed Heads or Tails house converts into a bed.
Akihiro Yoshida