There is quite a beautiful relationship between fashion and architecture that is very apparent through looking at a Japanese Fashion Designer and a Japanese Architect. In this case Issey Miyake and Kengo Kuma.
Where Fashion Meets Architecture
Issey Miyake Fashion Design
Issey Miyake is a Japanes fashion designer known for his technology driven fashion designs, fragrances and exhibitions. He is a high end producer of women’s fashion. During the late 1980’s, he experimented with new methods of pleating fabrics which would allow for flexibility of movement for the wearer and easy care and simple production.
The production methods for these pleated garments involves them being cut and sewn first, then the garments are sandwiched between two sheets of paper and fed into a heat press where they gain their iconic pleats. The “memory” of the fabric retains the pleats when the paper is removed from the garments and are ready to wear.
Issey Miyake does not only produce women’s fashion, he also produces men’s fashion, costumes for the ballet and he created the iconic black turtleneck for his friend Steve Jobs. He now has many lines including his main range Issey Miyake, Pleats Please Issey Miyake, Issey Miyake Fête and many more.
To have a look at all of his ranges, please visit the Issey Miyake website at:
How does this relate to Architecture and Interior Design?
Kengo Kuma Architecture
In the Hongkou Soho project, it would seem that Kengo Kuma could have been influenced by the pleated dresses of a Japanese fashion designer such as Issey Miyake. Kengo Kuma’s choice of architectural materials mimic the pleats of a soft women’s dress while using industrial materials appropriate for construction.
Kengo Kuma uses strips of perforated aluminium create a pleated appearance to the facade of the building. This is achieved by using pieces of 18 millimetre wide aluminium mesh to create them. The building is designed to look like a pleated draping dress. The lengths of the aluminium are specifically angled to fit the buildings form and create the rippling effect.
“For the facade, we created pleats, made of aluminium mesh like woven lace, which forms a soft dress for women.” (Kengo Kuma and Associates).
“The pleats change their expressions gradually according to the angle, strength, and tone of sunshine.” (Kengo Kuma and Associates).
The pleated design continues throughout the interior and with glimpses through the facade linking the interior with the exterior of the building. The whole scheme is like a pleated flowing dress, like those designed by Issey Miyake.
For more information on the Hongkou Soho project, please have a look at my previous blog post:
And for more of Kengo Kuma’s projects, please visit his website at:
Why is this a precedent for my FMP?
I have looked at this as a precedent for my FMP because I am considering adding extensions to my building.
Architectural Materials – The facade of the Hongkou Soho building is designed so that the pleated design of the building changes its appearance slightly depending on the angle of the sun. I would maybe like to add something to my building that possibly does this. I am exploring the idea of using pleated or geometric cladding as an architectural material for my extension. This research was developed from looking at origami as for obvious reasons, origami cannot be used as a construction material, however there are special materials that can be manipulated to create the same sort of effect.