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Working from a furniture maker’s workshop in Huddersfield where he is

surrounded by the natural world, Yukihiro Akama creates beautifully intricate

miniature wooden houses, each one carved from a single piece of wood.



Originally from Japan, Akama studied architecture at Tohoku University of Art and Design, in Yamagata, Japan and began his working career as an architect.  However, progressively feeling a need to also create physical objects using traditional tools with his hands, whilst working digitally on a computer, he began assisting a carpenter building traditional timber framed houses, enjoying the process and environment this enabled him to work in, alongside working as a practising architect.

After his move to the UK in 2011, he was inspired to make small buildings based of vernacular houses from his travels around Asia and interesting buildings seen in the UK and his first exhibition of work happened in 2013 at The Shop Floor Project, in Cumbria in the UK.


With no pre-conceptions as to where each piece will end, he begins his work with a hand drawn sketch on an off-cut of oak, walnut, sapele, iroko or maple. The wood often dictates the starting point for the design, with the knots or grain of the wood guiding where Akama cuts and carves. Gradually they take on the appearance of traditional Asian stilt houses – low and long, or tall with large roofs, sometimes they cantilever out, and with intricate details of clay render and pebbles minimally decorating the surfaces. Inspirations come from vernacular architecture, stacks of old bricks, stones, clouds, and an array of naturally occurring sights. Akama uses traditional Japanese tools, creating rough surfaces to sit against smooth, and finishing areas with a blow torch prior to polishing and oiling each piece.

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