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Space: Japanese Design Solutions [Hardcover]

Michael Freeman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Universe Publishing (Incorporated, Div. of Rizzoli (30 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789310651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789310651
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 18.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 531,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Freeman, professional photographer and author, with more than 100 book titles to his credit, was born in England in 1945, took a Masters in geography at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and then worked in advertising in London for six years. He made the break from there in 1971 to travel up the Amazon with two secondhand cameras, and when Time-Life used many of the pictures extensively in the Amazon volume of their World's Wild Places series, including the cover, they encouraged him to begin a full-time photographic career.

Since then, working for editorial clients that include all the world's major magazines, and notably the Smithsonian Magazine (with which he has had a 30-year association, shooting more than 40 stories), Freeman's reputation has resulted in more than 100 books published. Of these, he is author as well as photographer, and they include more than 40 books on the practice of photography - for this photographic educational work he was awarded the Prix Louis Philippe Clerc by the French Ministry of Culture. He is also responsible for the distance-learning courses on photography at the UK's Open College of the Arts.

Freeman's books on photography have been translated into fifteen languages, and are available on other Amazon international sites.

They are supported for readers by a regularly updated site,

Product Description


The book itself is small (7x7"), conforming to the theme that small can be extraordinarily beautiful and functional. Photographer Freeman, an authority on Asian design and art, presents text and photos describing intriguing examples of architecture and design projects. Each incorporates the Japanese esthetic of simplicity and light in a small livin

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! 12 Aug 2005
By A Customer
A fabulous study of space and details. A great source of inspiration with fantastic photographs and clear analysis of projects and compact space solving ideas. A tribute to intelligent and beautiful design.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good inspiration 8 Jan 2009
I like alot of the ideas in this book, in fact I want to implement them into my own house. How could I not have thought of it before? A recommended read for those with too much stuff and not enough space.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Jezza
A really beautiful book, though some of the houses themselves are not so beautiful - a few really look like industrial facilities or the room above a garage.

I got it because we are thinking about downsizing to a much smaller house, and I thought that there would be examples from Japan that would inspire me. But not much in the book seemed relevant to me - I can't imagine giving up one of my three rooms for a tea ceremony chamber, for example.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
99 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Interior Design Ideas That You Can Scale Up Or Down 14 Aug 2004
By Manon Kavesky - Published on
Space: Japanese Design Solutions for Compact Living, is packed with more than 200 serene photos and outstanding ideas for living life to it's fullest in a very small space. The houses in this book are small and rely on traditional Japanese design elements. For example, tatami mats on the floor, futons that are rolled - up by day, and shoji screen dividers for walls. Most American homes do not follow a Japanese aesthetic and are not plagued by such tiny floor plans but they often have difficult areas that need help. Space will be a huge source of inspiration and ideas because the problems it tackles are so difficult and the solutions so interesting.

Each home in Space is as individual as it's occupants but there are a few common features that make these small spaces work. One essential ingredient is lightness whether in the choice of construction materials, the appearance of the structure, or color. Creative storage solutions are also important, some notable examples include, stair risers that double as drawers, shelving units that pull out of walls and, under the floorboard storage. Movable interior partitions that make a space as flexible as possible and exterior partitions or fences to obscure unpleasant views while psychologically extending the interior outside. Finally I was really impressed with the creative solutions for staircases especially the layout that featured a movable staircase that was akin to a pocket door.

This book is a must have, there are so many amazing ideas and they can be scaled up for large spaces or scaled down to meet the constraints of the snuggest confines.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WHere are the floor plans 29 April 2008
By Alfred - Published on
This book is fine in almost everything but the floor plans that are missing. It's small and compact which goes with the theme but a floor plan would have been a great addition in simplifying the readability of it. Most of all it would be great if I could learn how to do them instead and of only admiring these houses.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you'll want one of these houses 31 May 2007
By Akira Touya - Published on
it would make a marvelous coffee table book, except it's half the size of one. or maybe it makes a wonderful table book precisely because it is so easy to pick up and skim. regardless, don't let that deter you from getting this book, as it is remarkable in its showcasing of the creativity that small spaces foster. as you read both the words and pictures throughout the book, you will find yourself thinking "wow that makes so much sense!" and "i want that house!" over and over.

a fantastic book, it will inspire you to either move to japan, or take the book to your architect and commission a house on the spot.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cover to cover with stuff you never thought of. 17 Jun 2010
By E. Ainsworth - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book explains how various incredibly talented designer-types in Japan have overcome impossibly unusual and confining living spaces. Some of the problems addressed by these sideways thinking geniuses are unique to Japanese culture. Like creating space for a tea-room, energy flow, framing the view of tiny meticulous gardens, and complying with some building code about outside vs. inside space ratios. Other concepts were easier for me to grasp like combining rooms for flexibility, a sense of openness, and storing things up high. It's filled with excellent photos of small rooms that feel big, sometimes I wonder if it's because they have nothing but a table and some chairs stuck in there. Seriously though it's truly inspiring and makes you think. This book was the first to arrive of several that I bought for ideas on remodeling my old house with it's pointless divisioning and depressing floor-plan. Although reading it has left me thoroughly confused, it did give me several ideas I might have never thought possible. Through endless example it forced me to realize that one just needs more imagination not space to create a liberating home.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty 24 Mar 2009
By C. Bearg - Published on
This is a simple, beautiful and disciplined book about minimalist design and design solutions, created by people who love their topic. I often return to it when I need inspiration for design projects.
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