Sharing means

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-10-39-27-am Caring about capsule concepts like this: Airbnb recently revealed a new evolution of its sharing economy. Slated to open this fall, the Yoshino Cedar House is a semi-communal space that nurtures relationships within its walls as well as within the rural Japanese community in which it resides. Designed by architect Go Hasegawa, the two-story building— entirely clad in local cedar trees—enables communal gathering on the ground floor with bedrooms upstairs. Meanwhile, inhabitants of Yoshino—a village in the rural Nara district of Japan—maintain the Airbnb listing, with proceeds reinvested in cultural organizations. A community incubator on multiple levels, the house addresses a pressing concern in rural Japan, as young professionals leave home for the cities, never to return.

The Yoshino Cedar House is the inaugural offering of Airbnb co-founder and CPO Joe Gebbia’s new design studio Samara, based in Tokyo, which endeavors to “bring together design and engineering experts from Airbnb to further avant-garde ideas and build advanced services that explore new areas of the Airbnb community.” If it works, the community house could be replicated elsewhere. Gebbia says: “We’ve sprouted our first seed with the Yoshino Cedar House,” Gebbia says, “and we’ve got a lot more on the way.”

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Frame of mind

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 2.50.05 PM And body. The world’s most playful/stylish climbing wall is the work of nendo, a limitlessly talented Japanese design studio. Striving to find the “!” moments in our everyday, nendo is responsible for a spate of truly innovative structures and installations around the world (documented on Yellowtrace). Here, in Tokyo, the studio rose to the challenge of designing a gym in the high fashion esplanade of Omotesando. Building on the brand—“becoming beautiful through movement”—nendo reimagined the rugged sport of rock climbing as a scramble up a salon-style gallery wall replete with animal mounts, bird cages, mirrors and vases. Pitch perfection.