Liu Ming is a Feng Shui expert in the Bay Area who lives and works out of his 1,100 sq ft live/work loft apartment. He often teaches class to 30 people in this space and would have to move and juggle his personal furnishings out of the way to make room for students. At the same time, when it was just him in the apartment, it felt too vast and open. With the help of SPACEFLAVOR, a Feng Shui architecture firm, Ming designed a mobile, mini dwelling unit, which contained everything he needed for sleeping, studying and meditating and relied on the principles of yin and yang as a way to balance his personal and professional life.
The steel and plywood living cube was prefabricated in order to fit through Ming’s front door and was assembled on site. A steel frame assembled on top of heavy duty casters and the plywood panels fit into the cube. All the wood used for the project was FSC-certified, formaldehyde free and coated with a natural shellac. The lower level features a simple bed and a study on the opposite side. A set of staircases with hidden storage lead up to the meditation loft and tea room.
Working on the principles of yin and yang as well as movement, one side of the cube is for sleeping and the other for working. The casters allow the cube to be oriented towards auspicious directions based on the Chinese lunar calendar. Translucent roller shades, a shoji screen and frosted acrylic panels allow daylight to filter through the Cube and give the interior a sense of privacy, while at night the Cube glows like a lantern. The entire structure can be easily dismantled and moved to a new location, should Ming ever move out of his Oakland apartment.