Tiny Homes

I am fortunate to live in a great, large old house, but my ideal home is a tiny house. I am a happy minimalist, so a small space makes sense for my lifestyle. I am excited by a growing movement toward small homes that can be married to a connected urban life.

Tiny House Blog is a fantastic hub for information about the diverse options available for small living spaces. The articles in the blog have inspired me to have the goal of eventually living in a tiny home. Some of the most beautiful structures featured are The Hemloft, Straw Bale Tiny Homes and the Mad Woman in the Forest Writing Cabin.

One pragmatic application of the small home concept that could have tremendous impact is the Ekinoid project. The purpose of Ekinoid homes is to provide for quick building of communities by community members and the homes are beautiful spherical buildings with inventive structural design.

Structurally light yet exceptionally strong, the Ekinoid home will very significantly reduce raw material requirements, and will free up the land underneath; it will allow occupants to fulfil their own power needs (and meet their requirements for potable water and in-house sewage treatment; and most of their food needs).

The Ekinoid Project focuses on the idea that a spherical structure can deliver a simple, practical, affordable housing solution, suitable for any environment. A structure whose parts can be both mass produced (locally, wherever practicable) and fabricated on-site – by unskilled hands (using detailed written and video instruction, as well as personal support from a previous Ekinoid-home-fabricator). Ekinoid homes will be designed to suit the local climate and terrain.

I can see some potential problems with the project, such as high initial costs, but I consider the focus of the practicality of simple homes to be valuable.

A cottage industry of books on tiny homes seems to be popping up. One of the books I’m looking forward to reading is Lloyd Kahn’s Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter. A preview featured on Boing Boing showcases stunning small homes in a rich variety of locations.

If you’re thinking of scaling back, you’ll find plenty of inspiration here. Here’s a different approach, a 180º turn from increasing consumption. Here are builders, designers, architects (no less), dreamers, artists, road gypsies, and water dwellers who’ve achieved a measure of freedom and independence by taking shelter into their own hands.

One of the most accessible pieces of small home media I’ve come across is We the Tiny House People, a documentary about people who have chosen to live in simple, small homes.

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