Now that the first Tiny House Conference has come to a close and I’ve had some time to reflect on how it went, what I’d like to do differently next year etc. I thought it would be good to share a little bit about what goes into one of these events. I wanted to do a post like this in part to share how much time, money and effort goes into the Tiny House Conference and to answer some common questions such as: “why do I have to register?”, “why does it cost so much?”, “could you just send me a video link?”
The Davis Design Workshop is dedicated to creating and developing custom furniture, fine pieces, and just about anything you can think of. This same craftsmanship is present throughout each Silver Tears camper.The teardrop camper. An instant classic when it first hit the American highway in the 40s.” – Kent
I received a note from my friend Dee Williams about an upcoming workshop and wanted to share it with you as the time is fast approaching. I wish I could make this one personally as it would be a lot of fun and is near where my daughter lives. Here is what Dee has to say.
I wanted to drop a note to ask a favor. I know you’re swamped and in the middle of your normal awesome life, but I wanted to let you know about some up coming workshops being hosted through Portland Alternative Dwellings (www.padtinyhouses.com). It seems there’s a rush of activity right now with great workshops on the horizon, hosted by Jay Shafer’s new company Four Lights Houses, Yestermorrow Design Build School, Tumbleweed, Deek Deitrickson’s Relaxashacks, and others.
I was looking through all the amazing ways the folks at the Phoenix Commotion are reusing junk to build artful homes in Texas. This technique jumped out at me as an especially clever and beautiful way of reusing what is normally discarded as trash. This is a wine bottle cork floor. Each cork is carefully nailed to the floor in an organic pattern.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Phoenix Commotion this is what they say about themselves:
The Phoenix Commotion is a local building initiative created to prove that constructing homes with recycled and salvaged materials has viable place in the building industry. This process uses only apprentice labor and teaches marketable skills to anyone with a work ethic who is willing to swing a hammer. By keeping labor costs low and using donated or found materials, the homes created are truly affordable. No two are alike due to the myriad of materials used, so there is an artistic element that makes Phoenix Commotion homes truly unique. We target single parents, artists, and families with low incomes. We require the homeowner to be involved with the planning and construction of their own home. The result is a person who is empowered, not only by the use of knowledge and building skills, but by the opportunity to become part of a community as a vested participant.
For the past few years, I’ve been documenting the tiny houses of Black Rock City (BRC for short). BRC is the city where the participants of the annual Burning Man event live for a week or more. “Burners” design, build, pitch or tow their unique structures and homes out to the Nevada desert to protect themselves from the area’s harsh weather.
Black Rock City is the temporary home for thousands of Burning Man participants.
This year I was unable to make it to Burning Man. However, my friend and BRC neighbor, Philippe Glade, is always there with his trusty camera to capture the colorful construction for his blog, This is Black Rock City. Furthermore, this year he also updated his popular book and The New Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man is now available online and in selected stores in San Francisco ($40, Real Paper Books).
It’s great to see projects coming full circle, from concept to reality. I first posted about this ingenious design by HP&P Architects back in April of 2013 (you can read the original post here). Since then H&P have completed their first floating bamboo home, aptly named “blooming bamboo home”. In this particular region of Vietnam locals houses are often destroyed due to flooding and natural disasters.” – Humble Homes
A tiny house on a tiny plot of land. It’s an ideal scenario for a good portion of tiny house dwellers and soon-to-be tiny house dwellers. Since owning a tiny house, in a sense, is being financially self-sufficient, owning the land it sits on takes that level of self-suffiency one step further. Since a tiny house obviously takes up a very small amount of land, there will be some remaining land even on the smallest plots.
If you live in a ski town, keep an eye out for a truck towing an elegant tiny house and five ski bums on the lookout for some great powder and free Wi-Fi. For six weeks, Molly Baker, Zack Griffin, Neil Provo and their videographers Sam Griffin and Andy Walbon will be road tripping around North America in a 112 square foot house on wheels and will be posting their videos online. The idea behind the trip is to find grassroots ambassadors for the outdoor gear company, Outdoor Research, ski some of winter’s best deep powder and meet fellow ski enthusiasts. They also wanted to take this trip in a tiny house to show that a passionate and low-impact lifestyle could be had for little cost.
Continuing down from the land of the hórreos in Asturias, the southern region of Andalucía has its own rustic shelters that—instead of sheltering corn and hay—have become homes for modern nomads. The Sacromonte neighborhood of Granada has a series of caves that were once inexpensive homes for the city’s Roma community in the late 19th century, but are now utilized by the city’s artistic dwellers. Most visitors come to Granada for the UNESCO world heritage site, the Alhambra, and the funky Albaicín neighborhood. The Sacromonte area lies just above the city along a hillside and once contained over 3,600 inhabited caves. A flood in the 1960s wiped out many of the homes and what was left is now occupied by approximately 30-50 nomad residents from all over the world. Many are just passing through, hoping to extend their travels by selling their art in the city plazas, while some of the ancient caves are occupied full time. Essentially, most of the people living in the caves are squatters overlooked by the local government. Their Bohemian looks and local art including jewelry, baskets, pottery and weavings can be seen in the local plazas. Traditinal flamenco music and dances can be seen in theaters and restaurants in the Albaicín. The living conditions in the caves are basic. Most of the caves have electricity from local power lines or solar panels. Plumbing and toilets are sometimes shared between several residents. However, the caves do stay cool during Granada’s hot summers and you really can’t beat the view.
Pushkara Sally Ashford is on tour in this great little gypsy vardo that was hand crafted by long time tiny house builder Steve Habersetzer in collaboration with many other artisans.