I recently had a wonderful conversation with two individuals who are in the beginning stages of designing and collecting materials for their tiny houses.
what's a tiny house?
A tiny house is a small home that provides just enough space to shelter you from inclement weather, for sleeping, eating, bathing, clothes washing/drying and for play time with family and friends.
building & designing a tiny house
One of the individuals has the trailer already (above photo), which she purchased from craigslist. The plan is to get all of their materials secondhand in order to make their houses as sustainable as possible, which includes scavenging for local, recycled, reusable and renewable materials.
They are working with a local architect, Longben Guyit, who is designing their houses and helping them to build.
why a tiny house?
Both of them have been motivated toward tiny houses out of a desire to be green, to be self-sufficient and to be mobile. One of the beauties of a tiny house is its mobility—it can be moved from place to place as needed, like a trailer home.
In DC, mobility has been primarily seen as a transportation issue. How should the city get people from their built-into-the ground homes or apartment buildings all over the city, often far from where they work and play, to where they need to go in as efficient and eco-friendly a manner as possible? The two people I spoke with are exposing the limitations of a mobility concept that's focused solely on transportation.
They are also motivated to detach from the grid via a tiny house in order to:
1. not participate in the cycle of indebtedness that is central to conventional
2. simply their lives;
3. blend their mobile businesses with their homes;
3. literally live (in) their values!
I was particularly interested in talking to these tiny house pioneers because they are both mothers, one has three children and the other has two children! And they do see themselves as pioneers because they want to model for other single moms how to be proactive and to take full control of their and their children’s lives.
So what are their names and where are their photos?
They have requested anonymity and desire invisibility because of their concern about how their families and others might respond to what they are doing. It's one thing for tweens and twenty-somethings to be countercultural, but adults, especially mothers with children, are expected to be more conventional. They'd rather focus their energy on building their houses and playing with their children than dealing with the scrutiny of naysayers.
I am excited about following them through this process, sharing their stories and providing space for a dialogue between you and these tiny house builders!