For those with acute asthma, owning a carpet can be murder. Even if you vacuum regularly, a rug serves as a perpetual pleasure garden for tens of thousands of attack-inducing dust mites. “Pillows, curtains, upholstery, mattresses and carpets all add to the emotional value of the home,” say Anne Pabon and Siem Lenders of the Eindhoven-based design firm, Studio Siem & Pabon. “Should [the homes of asthmatics] stay cold and impersonal?”
Their solution is the Fervent Carpet, a coiled throw rug with an anti-allergenic twist: every two months, it can be connected to a radiator and heated up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, killing the dust mites teeming in every nook and cranny.
According to the design duo, who displayed the Fervent Carpet at last year’s Dutch Design Week upon graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven, the idea for the Fervent Carpet came after meeting a person whose asthma was so acute he couldn’t have any textiles in his home: rugs, couches, and curtains. His house, they said, felt very “impersonal and unsociable,” so they challenged themselves to figure out a way for him to reintroduce textiles into his life.
The Fervent Carpet is made of two lengths of textile-covered hose, which have been arranged in an artful coil. At the edge of the rug, the hoses connect, making the carpet look like a perfectly normal and seamless rug. Every two months, though, the carpet is designed to be hooked up to a standard radiator, which blasts hot water through the coils, heating up the surrounding textiles to a a high enough temperature to kill both dust mites and any eggs they may have laid.
To an American audience, a carpet that hooks up to a radiator seems a little weird, but Studio Siem said they chose it as a heat source because in Europe, it’s a technology everyone has at hand. “We decided to use the radiator because it’s a heating system already, so that was a logical step,” they say. If they can follow that up with a version that hooks up to a central heating vent, maybe they’ll have an audience in the States, where roughly 25 million people have asthma.