フランス人ライフスタイルデザイナー パトリス・ジュリアン オフィシャル・ホームページ Patrice Julien Official Site

“しょうがない家” “Shoganai housing”

I have spent 4 years out of Japan and I get very often interviewed about the changes I notice after this time out of the country.

My work as a « Lifestyle designer » make me always look at a society trough the global lens of what Japanese people call « Ishokuju » (clothing-food-shelter) so what I notice after 4 years is the incredible evolution in quality and in quantity in the domains of clothing and the even biggest evolution in the food domain.

Almost all the major cities of Japan have the best food in the world. There is no other country where you can get such a choice of local and international products and specialities with such a standard of quality. Tokyo is one of the major showcases for the International top of the top in the culinary arts.

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It is the same thing in the field of clothing. All the newest trends, the best brands have incredibly beautiful shops in the best areas. The average Japanese office lady or salaryman for sure possess much more brand items than any of their equivalent in other parts of the world.

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Viewed under those two angles, 2014 in Japan looks like a golden age where every consumption dream can be satisfied easily. But there is another dimension to life. It is the dimension of « shelter ». I must say that this part of Japanese « lifestyle » have not changed at all since my arrival in Japan in 1987, 27 years ago…I must even say that this aspect have gone worst.

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Under the angles of « I-shoku », Japan may have the richest lifestyle in the world but under the angle of human quality of housing it could be actually ranked as one of the « poorest » culture in the world.

For now, nobody cares much about this distortion and too many leaders consider it is « shoganai » (which means « it cannot be helped »). « Shoganai » is the philosophy that seems to inspire everyone in the field of housing (even customers) but is it a fatality? Cannot we find a better, more creative and loving way to think about building places where people are supposed to live a rewarding and pleasurable life? (To be followed)

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