You know Ma Yansong’s firm MAD Architects for bold, environmentally-inspired architecture: its icy mountains on the Harbin Cultural Island; the modern pyramid of the Lucas Museum; the funnel clouds of the Absolute Towers. But now, Ma takes on his next challenge: dog rugs shaped like meat.
The rugs are part of Architecture for Dogs, an ongoing exhibition founded by Muji creative director Kenya Hara, which, over the years, has enlisted several world famous designers and architects to reconsider everyday objects with man’s best friend in mind. In 2012, Hara called the project a way to rediscover “what architecture really means,” exploring the nature of architectural process through a series of dog houses constructed with a particular care for a dog’s enjoyment and unique use.
In Architecture for Dogs’s latest update, Ma has designed this series of meat rugs for the Labrador Retriever. Ma says that the raw, marbled steaks embody “the ultimate reward” for a lab, but on top of that, the rugs roll up easily for transport around the home with a pet, and they come in three sizes, suitable from puppy to adult.
As with most Architecture for Dogs projects, it’s impossible not to look at these meat rugs and smile, or even laugh. But that doesn’t mean they’re pure silliness. In a world designed for dogs, do you think there’s such a thing as a Persian rug? No way. It’s all meat. And maybe some astroturf.
The exhibition will be on display in Shanghai Himalayas Museum from August 8 to October 11.