Oh, to live in an uncluttered, perfectly arranged home. To luxuriate in the “splendor of simplicity,” as a mild aroma wafts through the room. What would it be like to live inside a Muji catalogue?
Here’s your chance. The minimalist Japanese lifestyle brand is currently accepting applications for residency in a brand-new model house in the scenic seaside town of Kamakura. Construction on the house will conclude next year, and its interiors will be fully furnished by MUJI appliances and products.
In exchange for a two-year rent-free stay, the “house ambassador,” as Muji calls it, will serve as house-sitter, tour guide, research monitor, and all around information agent for Muji’s light-and-air-filled “window’s house” (窓の家) philosophy. Family, friends or pets of the chosen ambassador can also live there too, per the contest rules.
Muji says that its goal is partly to learn how people live in its prefab space. But no surveillance cameras, aside from security system will be installed.
It’s not the first time that Muji has sponsored a family to live rent-free in a model home. Japanese couple Noppi and ToaMii lived in a model unit in Mitaka in 2012 and recently published a book about their two-year immersion in the Muji universe.
The contest is part of the company’s Muji House Vision, a broad initiative to experiment with housing models, materials and renovation techniques in search of the ideal living space.
The model unit in Kamakura will be a two-story box structure with a triangular roof punctuated by many windows and skylights, as an experiment in light, temperature and air. This video (in Japanese) gives a tour of their “window’s house” model:
Any resident of Japan of legal age is allowed to apply. Foreigners can also apply but they must be fluent in Japanese. The rules of the savvy marketing scheme require applicants to publicly declare their desire to live in the Muji house on Facebook, and to use the Muji Passport app, which rewards customer based on their purchases and the number of Muji retail outlets they’ve visited. The application period ends on Aug. 31 and the winners are expected to move in by March 2017.
Those not chosen to live the Kamakura dream can still experience Muji’s model homes throughout Japan, which offer tours year round.