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!
This past weekend I connected with my colleagues (and friends) BA Norrgard and Lee Pera to teach a Tiny House 101 Workshop in Washington, D.C. Our twenty students joined us from various locales ranging from down the street to Florida to Brazil! I look forward to teaching a Tiny House 101 Workshop again in June in Denver, CO with BA Norrgard. If you'd like to join us, please register now so we know you're coming!
I'm headed to Washington, D.C. this morning to co-teach a Tiny House 101 Workshop with the other fine folks of the Tiny House Collaborative. We have a nearly full house and it's going to be fun to share our tiny homes and our lessons learned with the workshop attendees as we help them noodle through some of the major considerations for their own tiny homes. We'll be doing sessions about inspiration and aspirations, the tiny house lifestyle, systems (including water, electrical, propane, etc.), trailers, project planning and management, and building basics. I'm especially excited to be doing a design session with Vina Lustado of SolHaus Design!
I've also never been to D.C. before AND it seems it will be peak cherry blossom time, so I've got to say that's pretty exciting as well. I've given myself an extra day in D.C. to explore the city after the workshop.
Then I'm going on a road trip. Most of my East Coast time has been in Vermont since I teach for Yestermorrow Design-Build School. So I'm really looking forward to traveling by car from D.C. to Asheville for the Tiny House Conference. The conference is the first weekend of April and I'm going to be sharing some design tips and tricks as well as leading an open space session. This will be my third year speaking at the Tiny House Conference and it will be great to see Ryan Mitchell and reconnect with these awesome speakers: Laura LaVoie, Matt LaVoie, Andrew Morrison, Lora Higgins, Ethan Waldman, and Zack Jones. (And I'll get to meet Jody Brady & Bill Brady, too!) Will YOU be there? I look forward to meeting you, too!
Let the adventures begin!
I was on Hawaiian Time when the Tiny House Collaborative launched, so I haven't yet taken the time to tell you how very excited I am about being part of this group of fabulous people. The short answer is pretty freakin' excited!
The Tiny House Collaborative is a team of 7 individuals, each passionate about providing the resources to design, build and dwell efficiently. We are combining our energy, time, and expertise so that we can more effectively share our love of tiny homes and our collective knowledge of living well in small spaces. It's a synergistic relationship because we can do more together than any one of us could do alone.
You have four opportunities to take advantage of this synergy right away:
- Sign up for our Tiny House 101 Workshop in Washington DC March 26-27
- Sign up for a Phone/Skype Consultation to address your specific questions
- Sign up for an On-Site Consultation so we can give you the skinny on your property's suitability for a tiny home
- Sign up for a Tiny House Tour so you can explore one of our tiny homes
So how did this group of people all join up? We think it was a little bit luck/fate/coincidence and a little bit being brave enough to act on our mutual friend crushes. When we all arrived in Colorado for the 2015 Tiny House Jamboree, we decided to kick off the weekend with a hike. We got to talking about what each of us were doing in the Tiny House Movement and how it was hard to do it alone. By the end of the hike, the seven of us had decided we had to find a way to combine efforts. And just like that, the Tiny House Collaborative became a twinkle in our eyes.
In December we gathered up to Visit Orlando Lakefront RV & Tiny House Park to explore the city where James and Kai live. We turned the trip into a retreat to figure out the details and prepare to share the Tiny House Collaborative with everyone else. That means YOU! We have created a website where you can learn more about the Collaborative and sign up for the services we currently offer. Please know there are many more good things to come!