Tiny house movement gained momentum after financial crisis

A tiny home can be a castle

Published in City by

Sawhorse Revolution, a non-profit carpentry program for high school students in Seattle, just raised almost 40.000 dollar through crowd funding for the creation of a moveable eco-village for Seattle’s homeless. Called The Impossible City, this encampment of collapsible tiny homes is a nice manifestation of the tiny house movement.

The tiny house movement started in the late 1990s as a reaction to the ever-increasing size of the average American family home and the subsequent consequences for energy consumption and climate change. The financial crisis of 2007-2008 gave the movement new impetus after people discovered the benefits of a home as small as 8 m2 they can build themselves for some 5000 dollars. The sustainable ambitions of many tiny home builders already resulted in many beautiful, funny, unexpected and wayward structures.

Tiny and cool

Take for instance the tiny house Scott Brooks built from recycled materials for less than 500 dollars. The small house offers Brooks everything he needs and even has a certain coolness thanks to the materials used and certainly the place where it stands on the estate of a friend in Washington. Brooks built his house after a long journey to Africa, India, Nepal, Montana and Alaska. The whole building process has been captured on Brooks’ blog.

The Impossible City is another example. The initiating Sawhorse Revolution is an organisation that wants to interest high school students in crafts and skill labour through creative projects with social impact. For The Impossible City the teenagers design and build the tiny houses under the supervision of professional architects, engineers and construction workers. The moveable houses are meant for the Nickelsville Homeless Community, a self-governed encampment that has been around since 2008. Though the target was met, contributing to the Indiegogo campaign is still possible and there is more on the project to find on The Stranger.

Let’s hope this knowledge of how to build cheap, small houses is shared with as many people as possible. The information could be valuable for instance for all these refugees who fled the current conflict zones in this world. Because like anyone they deserve a home, even if it is a tiny one.

Students present their design for a tiny house for The Impossible City

Students present their design for a tiny house for The Impossible City

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