Design

2018 Recap & 2019 Look Ahead

2018 Recap & 2019 Look Ahead

Yesterday, as has become our tradition, Isha and I went for a hike (this one urban) and recapped 2018 (what was good, what was hard, what we learned). We also shared what we’re excited about and nervous about for 2019. Since I haven’t been sharing with the greater world recently, I figured I’d share a few of the highlights at this point of transition and some excitement about the year to come.

Tiny House & ADU Design Workshops in Feb at PCC

Tiny House & ADU Design Workshops in Feb at PCC

Winter is a great time for your design process if you'd like to get your project launched this coming spring or summer. 

This Winter Term I'm teaching two fun weekend design classes through Portland Community College: 

In these intensive two day workshops we cover many of the considerations for designing a small space, visit with special guests who have created ADUs or tiny homes (respectively), and go through a set of design exercises to help you develop a design of your own. 

A New Job in the New Year

A New Job in the New Year

The weeks between Winter Solstice and New Years Day are often reflective time for me anyhow, but that's been especially true for me this year. For one thing, I have my new spouse to dream and scheme with. Isha and I have been making our lists and checking them twice as we identify our goals, what we're going to commit to, and what we're going to let go.The other big life change this year is that I am delighted to be starting a new job as the Operations Coordinator for Green Hammer tomorrow!

ADU Design Workshop Fall 2017

ADU Design Workshop Fall 2017

This past weekend I taught another round of the ADU Design Workshop through Portland Community College. Nine students from Portland and the surrounding Metro area participated in the workshop this weekend, bringing projects ranging from garage and basement conversions to backyard cottages, additions, and renovation of a pole barn. Some of them had relevant professional backgrounds (appraising, real estate, amateur drafting) and some of them were brand new to design, development, and building.

ADU & Tiny House Design Classes at PCC

ADU & Tiny House Design Classes at PCC

Have you been dreaming about an ADU or tiny house for years now? If these long rainy days have you noodling and doodling, come join us for a design class to start making it more real! Fall is a great time to begin your design process if you'd like to get your project launched this coming spring or summer. This Fall Term I'm teaching two fun weekend design classes through Portland Community College!

Tiny House Jamboree 2017

Tiny House Jamboree 2017

I had a great time getting inspired by people in the Pro Session I facilitated on Friday and the Design Tips & Tricks session I presented twice on Saturday. On Sunday I really enjoyed picking the brains of people living in vans and skoolies and attending sessions like the Diversity Panel at the Village Stage and Courtney Carver's Project 333 presentation. I spent most of Sunday morning exploring tiny houses in DIY Village with new pals Kim and Stephanie, whom I'd met in my sessions.

Skeletons in the Code Closet: Obsolescence & Opportunity in Trailer Home Regulation

Skeletons in the Code Closet: Obsolescence & Opportunity in Trailer Home Regulation

This paper was originally written by Lina Menard of Niche Consulting LLC in June of 2012 as a term paper for a course she took as part of her Masters of Urban and Regional Planning Masters program at Portland State University. The course, USP 510: Planning & The Housing Market, taught by Dr. Lisa Bates, focused on the intersection between planning, regulation, and affordable housing. This version of the paper was updated in January 2015.

Tiny For Two (T42) Photos

Tiny For Two (T42) Photos

Yesterday was Beltane (AKA May Day) and it marked the one year anniversary of starting the build for our new tiny house, T42. To celebrate, we want to share photos with you! In mid-March, Kristina of Kristina Lynn Photography came to do a photo shoot. As I've hinted at in my Niche Newsletters, Kristina is a photographer who especially loves taking photos of people in their homes and recently she's become intrigued by tiny house dwellers. So it was an awesome opportunity to have her come shoot our little house. She captured some truly fabulous shots and we're excited to share them with you!

A Tiny House Whirlwind

Christian Parsons of  Tiny House Expedition  snapped this shot of the Tiny House Conference.

Christian Parsons of Tiny House Expedition snapped this shot of the Tiny House Conference.

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of tiny house events on both coasts! Four weeks ago today I was headed to the East Coast for Tiny House 101 in DC. Three weeks ago today I was on my way to Vermont to teach Tiny House Design-Build at Yestermorrow. During the 2-week course we constructed the shell of a tiny house on wheels for a fellow named Nick who, at 26 years old, is super clever about establishing housing stability and flexibility. I wish I had been so wise at that age! During the evenings we had studio time to explore tiny house design considerations and students worked on creating their own tiny house designs. If you'd like a sense of the day-by-day flow of this course, you can check out previous posts about Tiny House Design-Build.

We wrapped up there a week ago tomorrow and I flew across the country again to be back home in time to speak at the Tiny House Conference, which was in Portland this year. I've been at all four of the Tiny House Conferences now and it's neat how it alternates between the East Coast and the West Coast. I spoke about Tiny House Community on Saturday and then facilitated the Open Space session on Sunday. During the rest of the time I joined Track C, a new addition to the Conference this year for those of us who are already living or building tiny. It was fun to have conversations about the future of the movement and to swap stories of our biggest mistakes! The Conference is always a great opportunity to connect with fascinating folks from all over the place and I look forward to hearing updates about people's tiny house journeys!

On Monday BA Norrgard and I led a Tiny House Community & Zoning Workshop through the Tiny House Collaborative. We explored various tiny house community models, discussed zoning challenges and opportunities, and laid out some steps (and tips) for creating tiny house community. We were fortunate to have an awesome venue at the Cully Grove Common House so we were able to talk about creating community in the community living room of a very cool community! We also had some special guests join us, including Alexis Deharts Stephens of Tiny House Expedition who (along with her partner Christian) has probably visited every tiny house community in the country! We also had a panel discussion with four community members from two different tiny cohousing communities in Portland. Thanks again, Tony, Karin, Lori and Kyra! It was fun to show people our tiny house community and to have Pam Westra show off three of the tinies at Tiny Digs, Portland's other tiny house hotel. (I've written about Caravan - The Tiny House Hotel in the past and I love that tiny houses are so popular in Portland that we now have TWO tiny house hotels!)

On Tuesday I attended the Build Small Coalition meeting, which is a reconvened group previously dubbed the Space-Efficient Housing Working Group. This is Portland's collection of professionals working to support tiny houses, ADUs, micro apartments, and other space-efficient creative housing solutions. It was great to see familiar faces and hear their updates as well as meeting new folks who are taking on neat projects. I look forward to seeing what we accomplish this coming year!  I have a hunch it's going to be another big year for small homes!