Constructing Your Life – Smaller!
“”Your life and how it looks is a reflection of how well you did in that project of constructing who you are,” Christopher Smith says. To a degree, Smith’s own dream follows that ideal. Just before his 30th birthday he impulsively bought two hectares in the Colorado mountains, to fulfil a fantasy of building his own home. With no building experience, this graphic designer used rented tools and YouTube to coach himself through the practical points of DIY. But it’s in the scale of house that his dream truly deviates.
Since 1970, the average American home has almost doubled in size from 130 square metres to 250 square metres (in Australia the figures are comparable – 125 square metres to 243 square metres). Smith’s dream home is 11.5 square metres.
He is one of hundreds of Americans to embrace the idea of living small. Very small. Tiny houses rarely exceed 18 square metres.
”The Tiny House movement for a lot of people is this act of civil disobedience where they are trying to actively put the brakes on that [bigger is better] mentality,” he says.
Australians, too, are part of a growing worldwide movement. According to Darren Hughes, who operates the Facebook page TinyHousesAustralia, building codes around tiny houses are similar to the US. As tiny houses are less than the minimum house size, putting them on wheels classifies as a temporary structure. In which case, why not buy a caravan? Because building it yourself is key to tiny housing, Smith says.
Tiny Houses’ American antecedents date back at least to 1854 with Henry David Thoreau’s classic Walden. In it, Thoreau describes building a 13.5 square metre cabin near Walden pond in Massachusetts. Like his hero Thoreau, Smith, together with his partner Merete Mueller, documented their own cabin building in Tiny: A Story about Living Small, and including interviews from members of the Tiny House fraternity.”
For the e-book: http://tiny-themovie.com/ebook/