UK architect unveils “tiny living forests” for London Design Festival

Asif Khan has partnered with car-maker Mini to design a series of small "living" forests that will be placed in east London as part of the city’s design festival.

The concept is inspired by the Japanese concept of "shinrin yoku", which means "forest bathing". This does not involve swimming trunks, but rather an immersion in woodland sensations.

The spaces will contain miniature forests populated by plants that visitors can take home during the festival. These are what Khan calls "third places" between work and home that "provide important contact points in our modern urban society".

Three interpretations of the "spaces between spaces" will be on show in Shoreditch and Hackney as part of the London Design Festival 2016.

The three themed rooms are:

  • The Connect Space, which is a place for meeting and catching up. A large table forms the centrepiece of this room.
  • The Create Space is intended to allow users to arrange its furnishings as they wish.
  • The Relax Space welcomes visitors with plants and invites them to "take a step back from everyday life".

Oke Hauser, creative lead of Mini Living said: "Given the amount of left-over public space we need to ask: how can we activate its potential?"

The spaces will be available to the public between the 17-25 September, see here for full details.

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