Among the many forms of charcoal that your average person habitually encounters, activated charcoal in the form of a 4cm honeycomb cube created in an oxygen starved kiln is not among the likely contenders. To the contrary, most people see charcoal as the blackened edge of a burned out stump, or the crumbly cinders at the bottom of the grill, rather than as a low-cost, super-clean, and highly effective home purification device.
Chikuno Cube. Designed by Satoshi Umeno.
Chikuno Cube + House Cleans the Air and Charms Passers-By
Satoshi Umeno aims to change all that. In fact, if this clever designer has his way, the populace at large will come to appreciate charcoal in a whole new way. For Umeno’s Chikuno Cube is the aforementioned purification device—an incarnation of charcoal that has been used in Japan for decades to keep homes healthy and inhabitants happy.
The brain, as it were, of Chikuno Cube is a perfect cube of activated charcoal, and it’s rather lovely to look at. The device is flanked on four sides by pristine charcoal walls (so smooth and clean that they seem to be carved from the semi-precious jewel called rutilated quartz); the remaining two walls show a network of honeycombed apertures that would be the envy of any bee.
This form of activated charcoal is a natural purifier, so the simple block of charred carbon silently sucks the impurities from the air. And it does so while perched atop Umerno’s engaging base of natural wood. Together, the ensemble creates an effective—albeit cubist—rendition of a home: “a miniature house that rests quietly, purifying and deodorizing its larger abode. It’s a nice reminder that, instead of using chemicals and perfumes, we can rely on nature’s intrinsic tools for purifying.”
About the Designer: A versatile sort, designer Satoshi Umeno made his living as a consultant on urban development projects, until he founded Umeno Design in 2003. Since that time, Umeno has designed and produced various furnishings, while continuing to “brand interior, fashion, web, graphic, and packages across a wide range in the field.” Among his more intriguing designs are the Whale convertible sofa and the very Zen Calm light shade.