As a toddler I made a nest for myself in a kitchen cabinet. My dad gave up on putting the the pans back and added an interior knob so I could let myself in and out of “my little house.” By the time I was ten I was considering a career in architecture. Long afternoons evaporated as I created houses with graph paper, Legos, and playdough. I wanted a Goldilocks house: one that was just right for me.
When I learned about the social and ecological benefits of cohousing in a high school Human Ecology class, I realized that buildings are only as effective as the communities in which they are situated.
From then, it was important to me to develop a deep understanding of the relationship between community, design, building, and sustainability.
I triangulated my education with formal investigation of social sciences, professional training in sustainable design and building, and hands-on experience. From volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and leading a build trip in post-Katrina New Orleans, to helping build a cob meditation hut and two straw bale homes, my foundation grew strong. I have now assisted with the construction of twenty-three homes, including twelve tiny houses on wheels.
In college, my thesis work focused on an exploration of cohousing, and I presented my research at the National Cohousing Conference. The practicum project for my Certificate in Sustainable Building & Design was building a tiny house on wheels, which has been dubbed Tandem. This tiny house is now located at Caravan - The Tiny House Hotel and rented out by the night so visitors can try on tiny.
During my first Year of Living Little one of my tiny house heroes, Dee Williams, connected me with other designers, dwellers, and builders. Through my internship with Eli Spevak's sustainable development company, Orange Splot, I coordinated the Pedalpalooza Accessory Dwellings and Tiny House Bike Tours, wrote for AccessoryDwellings.org, and worked with the Space Efficient Housing Working Group to plan the Build Small, Live Large Summit. More recently, I've worked as the Project Engineer & Sustainability Coordinator for a green building project and created a set of ADU Case Studies through a contract with the Oregon DEQ.
I now live in The Lucky Penny, my own 100 square foot gypsy wagon in a tiny cohousing community called Simply Home Community. Through all of these adventures, I have met inspiring people and had ample opportunities to share my experiences.