Asif Khan unveils new design for Architecture For Dogs

Japan House London announces that globally renowned UK architect Asif Khan is creating a brand-new design entitled “I see you !” becoming the 16th designer to join the global Architecture for Dogs project. The exhibition launches at Japan House London on Saturday 19 September 2020 and runs until 10 January 2021.

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- Asif Khan unveils his highly anticipated design as the 16th architect to join the critically acclaimed Architecture for Dogs exhibition

- The UK-based architect showcases “I see you !”

- The globally renowned Architecture for Dogs exhibition launches at Japan House London on Saturday 19 September 2020 and runs until 10 January 2021

- Japan House London is the first destination in Europe to exhibit Architecture for Dogs with a physical and virtual experience for guests

- The free exhibition features design by world-class architects, each capturing the quality of the relationship between dogs and their people.


Japan House London announces that globally renowned UK architect Asif Khan is creating a brand-new design entitled “I see you !” becoming the 16th designer to join the global Architecture for Dogs project.

In the latest addition to the exhibition, Khan has created a minimalist seamless black felt surface that sits halfway between carpet and table, and features a crater in which a dog can nestle. Designed to be positioned in the middle of the room and place our canine companions as ‘the centre of attention’ in the hub of the home, the piece focuses on the idea of dogs gaining their understanding of the world through their noses from the ground upwards. Crafted from felted sheep’s wool intended to spark canine interest through smell, Khan’s exhibit spreads a big circular skirt on the ground down from its main volume, which is specially designed to meet the dog’s nose first. Although created with no specific dog breed in mind, the piece is dyed entirely black to create a playful camouflage-like haven for a black dog to disappear into, asking us to ‘imagine seeing the shape of some white paws, a white tail, or white ears and nothing else.’

Architect Asif Khan says: “I think that cross-cultural exchanges of creativity are vital to us growing as individuals, and Japan House London is one of my favourite places to experience this. There is always something fascinating to see there, but Architecture for Dogs may be the most unusual!  The exhibition is a growing collection of some of the most interesting architects and designers in the world, it’s an honour to join them and contribute to the project.

“Architecture is very powerful. Dogs, like humans, are happy when they can fulfil their desires - adventure, sleep, play, being part of a pack. This can easily be found in nature, but often harder within today’s homes.  When dogs encounter a scenario in the form of architecture which is designed to stimulate their natural instincts, I think it might make them wag their tails.” 

London-based Khan’s studio is best known for its building schemes exploring the ways in which material and social innovation can fundamentally alter the way in which people experience and shape their environment. Taking direct inspiration from history, nature and material advances, recent examples of his work include the carbon-fibre latticed Expo Entry Portals at the Dubai Expo 2020 and the design of the forthcoming New Museum of London.

Hara Kenya, Creative Advisor for Japan House London and creator of Architecture for Dogs says: “New for the London exhibition, we have succeeded in gaining the participation of Asif Khan. The first time I met Asif was in Miami when we opened this exhibition for the first time, back in 2012.  Perhaps it was fate that this talented architect joins the London exhibition! This cutting-edge architectural exhibition has been taken to the next level. I hope you enjoy it.”

Opening to the public on Saturday 19 September, Japan House London is the first destination in Europe to host the internationally acclaimed Architecture for Dogs exhibition. Created and directed by Hara Kenya of Nippon Design Center in conjunction with co-founder Julia Y.C. Huang of Imprint Lab, featuring world-class architects and designers including Hara Kenya himself, the exhibition first launched at Design Miami in 2012 with 13 works, and has since grown in stature receiving global recognition while touring in Japan, China and Brazil.

Architecture for Dogs features a collection of 16 architectural designs for different dog breeds including the Beagle, Bichon Frise and Poodle. The exhibition will be available to visit at the Kensington High Street venue from 19 September, as well as a through virtual experiences such as online talks, ‘live’ guided tours and a 3D Tour later in the autumn.

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About Asif Khan

Asif Khan MBE, born London 1979, studied Architecture first at the Prince's Foundation then at UCL and finally the AA school before establishing his office Asif Khan in 2007. His work is known for its combination of Science, Art, Technology and Nature.

The office has received over 30 international awards including the Cannes Lion Grand Prix for Innovation in 2015 and Architect of the Yearin 2018 from the German Design Council.

Asif continues to lecture and teach around the world. He has taught Architecture at the Royal College of Art, London and, with Kenya Hara, at Musashino Art University, Tokyo.

Khan is currently working on the new Museum of London at West Smithfield (opening 2024), the Expo 2020 Public Realm, the Tselinny Centre of Contemporary Culture in Almaty, Kazakhstan (opening 2021) and a Museum of Islamic manuscripts in Sharjah, UAE (opening 2021).

He designed the award-winning UK Pavilion at Astana Expo 2017 and the Hyundai Pavilion at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics. Notable previous projects include the ‘MegaFaces’ pavilion at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, the Coca-Cola Beatbox at London 2012 Olympics, a finalist entry in the international competition for the new Guggenheim Museum Helsinki from 1700 anonymous designs, and a Summer pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery in Summer 2016.

The studio’s reputation has grown from its ability to create sensitive, future-facing buildings and spaces which are delivered through rigorously detailed design at every scale.


About Japan House London

Japan House London is a cultural centre offering visitors an experience of the best and latest from Japan. Located on London’s Kensington High Street, the experience is an authentic encounter with Japan, engaging and surprising even the most knowledgeable guests. Presenting the very best of Japanese art, design, gastronomy, innovation, and technology, it deepens our appreciation of all that Japan has to offer. Part of a global initiative led by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are two other Japan Houses, in Los Angeles and São Paulo.


Safety measures [August 2020]

The cultural destination has received Visit Britain’s ‘We’re Good To Go’ Standard, to reassure guests that they can visit Japan House London safely, with clear processes in place that adhere to Government and public health guidance.

In addition to a one-way visitor route, Japan House London has installed a raft of new measures to ensure visitor safety, published at

The measures include:

  • All staff will be wearing face coverings
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided on entry and exit
  • One-way system in place on the Ground Floor
  • 2-metre social distancing


How to plan a visit

A visit to Japan House London currently re-quires pre-booking a free entry ticket.  Find out more:

New (temporary) opening hours [August 2020], applicable at the time of writing

Monday-Thursday: 11:00-18:00

Friday & Saturday: 11:00-19:00

Sunday: 12:00-18:00

Last entry: Monday-Friday: 15:15 and Saturday-Sunday: 17:15