Oh the campus busies with incoming freshman, some 4,200 of them! The pedestrian walkways are filled with parading parents, parking lots with burly middle aged men lugging out huge boxes for the weak and furniture trucks dropping off new purchases at the campus dormitories. There are a variety of living arrangements for this wide-eyed freshman. Sizes of dorms range from fully furnished single suites with personal bathrooms and shared kitchen tops to the most lackluster traditional residential halls. These encompass shared bedrooms, community bathrooms, and kitchens. Nonetheless, on campus living comes at a substantial cost for alumni scholarship supporters, parents, and ultimately the students themselves.
True to North American culture, the practice of obtaining larger, quantifiable material goods is seen as a luxury. I’d be pressed to believe that any one student would choose a community bathroom and shared bedroom over personal suites. As a culture, our social standards have been reflective on our housing arrangements. Thus, the more space and larger the house, the higher you stand on the social totem pole… Or so we thought. After a grandiose surplus of pie-in-the-sky housing boom, individuals and households began to realize that all that glitters is not gold. In other words, the demand for large houses was met with the sacrifice of large mortgages, mostly with incomes that could not support this luxurious residential lifestyle.
Inspired by the movers and shakers of the 60’s, creativity and scaling back, represented in tiny houses have been making a come-back. The idea behind most designs is to save money and to be as sustainable as possible.
So tell me, why is it that we find living small to be such a daunting task? Well, we have become spoiled with having our desires fulfilled by material things. Exhausting our resources with meaningless forms of admiration such as large lots of land to harvest nothing but grass seeds.
In an era of increasing costs for that most basic of human needs, shelter, let us take a step back. What if we took a lesson from the Peruvian natives of Easter Island, the land that was used and abused beyond repair that ultimately destroyed the island’s civilization and history? What if instead of opting for the most spacious residence we can (or can not) afford, we elect the most sustainable option?
Here is the start of my “tiny” blog movement. I will explore the possibilities of sustainable design and innovative techniques to maximize on space while ensuring a high standard in one’s quality of life.