Tiny Zen Living: 8 Foot Square Mobile Cube Combines Office, Bed & Meditation

© Jasmine Rose Oberste

Living in a space the size of a bathroom may not be for everyone, but it sure is eye-opening and fun to see how people go ahead and actually do it -- and heck, might even inspire one to try it out too. Following up on last week's compact bathroom-kitchen-loft unit, here's a decidedly Zen-headed mobile living cube by San Francisco-based architecture and interior design firm Spaceflavor, which handily fits an office, bedroom and meditation space into a 8 foot-square footprint.

© Jasmine Rose Oberste
© Jasmine Rose Oberste

Specializing in feng shui and Bau Biologie, Spaceflavor's "Cube" was created for Liu Ming, a well-known local master of feng shui who gives classes in his home, in order to provide an extra, integrated live-work space within his 1,100 square foot loft in Oakland, California.

© Jasmine Rose Oberste

The two-storey mobile cube is informed by the feng shui concepts of yin (private/closed) and yang (public/open), a modern Zen-like expression, and by Ming's own daily patterns of meditation, work and study. Say the designers:

This mobile dwelling unit allows him to freely reconfigure the loft to suit his popular classes while securing his personal realm. The compact study and bed niches provide him a sense of coziness missing in the open industrial space. The high-capacity casters allow Ming to orient the Cube towards auspicious directions based on the Chinese lunar calendar.

© Jasmine Rose Oberste

To relocate the Cube to future spaces and minimize on-site fabrication, a steel frame and plywood components were prefabricated to fit through a standard 3-foot wide door, then assembled on-site within 48 hours. Simplified connections and building parts allow Ming to disassemble and reassemble the Cube with regular DIY tools.

© Jasmine Rose Oberste

Simplicity and efficiency are the order of the day here; with an eye for enlightened details, such as the seemingly plain ash plywood panels which were actually chosen for their particular grain pattern. A set of stairs leading to the more secluded meditation space above is hidden from view, while storage drawers are cleverly hidden in the stairs. Spatial modularity is achieved via the tatami mats that cover the floors, while privacy is bestowed through the use of translucent shoji screens, roll-down shades and acrylic sheeting.

© Jasmine Rose Oberste
© Jasmine Rose Oberste

Deliberately understated and gracefully executed, this mini-dwelling skillfully shows that small can still feel very spacious if thoughtfully done, and also if one's living patterns are consciously modified to reflect the transition. More information at Spaceflavor.

Tags: Architecture | California | Less Is More | Small Spaces

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