The tiny home trend has been hard to ignore over the last several years. There's an increasingly saturated market of TV shows and Pinterest pictures dedicated to the topic of exploring micro-dwellings where your home is reduced to the size of a walk-in-closet and each room takes on a triple-duty programmatic role has only increased its popularity. What looks enticing on reality TV is often much less desirable in real life, and as people continue to long for a lifestyle that frees them of material goods and the ability to travel, what does this mean for the actuality of tiny home construction? Is it just a wanderlust fantasy that no one actually lives and was there ever any promise to its realization in the mainstream world?
Tiny Homes: The Latest Architecture and News
Bali-based Stilt Studios has begun construction on a new prefabricated tiny house made out of recycled Tetra Pak cartons. The team has also launched a Kickstarter campaign to create awareness for the use of recycled materials. Designed to promote local, circular economies, the first prototype is now being built and sales of the tiny house will commence in October this year.
Cities around the world are facing new questions of urban flight. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, it exacerbated a range of living conditions and housing crises, from telecommuting and construction to global economies. As Fast Company reports, almost 40% of those living in cities have considered moving out since the pandemic started. With the possibility of the pandemic stretching on for years, more urbanites are considering the move to rural areas and small towns.
Netflix has published a new show on its streaming service on the subject of tiny houses. “Tiny House Nation” follows renovation experts John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin across America, as they help design and construct tiny homes in spaces under 500 square feet. The seven episodes from the 2014-2017 series feature homeowners from all walks of life, from Florida to Hawaii, seeking to join a Tiny Houses Movement that prioritizes smart living.
In the last global survey undertaken by the United Nations in 2005, there were an estimated 100 million people who were homeless around the world and 1.6 billion who lived without adequate housing. This number has escalated in recent years; unaffordable housing has become a global norm, making it increasingly difficult for the disadvantaged to seek out permanent, or even temporary shelter.
As housing becomes a means of accumulating wealth rather than fulfilling its fundamental goal of shelter, well-intentioned architects have attempted to solve the homelessness crisis through creative ideas and innovative design. But is architecture really the solution?