August 9, 2011

Tiny House Video Tour.

On the set of “TINY: A Story about Living Small”

The 110 square foot “Ico.”

Back in February, when Christopher had the crazy idea to buy a deserted piece of land in the Colorado mountains and build a Tiny House from scratch, I matched him with an equally out-there notion.

“Let’s make a documentary film about it,” I said.

It’s now August. The house is half-built and our film is underway. In the midst of teaching ourselves to frame a house, to insulate and raise a roof, we’ve also been interviewing other small house owners around the country. We’re interested in finding new designs and new building techniques, and also to find out what has motivated other people to take on such a project.

We’re also interested in the lifestyles that led each of these people to occupy such a small space, and how their tiny homes impact their everyday lives. Perhaps most fundamentally, with each visit we learn a bit more about what makes a house into a home, what it is that makes each individual—and all of us, in general—feel a sense of belonging and comfort.

Daniel Aragon’s 110-square foot house in Placerville, Colorado has been one of our favorites. Daniel lovingly calls his house “The Ico,” short for “icosahedron,” after the building’s 12-sided shape. The house, which Daniel designed and built himself, sits on a plot of land owned by an old friend, and is surrounded by fruit trees and raised garden beds. In addition to architecture and design, gardening is one of Daniel’s biggest passions. His small house offers him plenty of opportunity to keep his fingers in the dirt—both because he’s rent free and has more free time to devote to his hobbies, and because the house’s small square footage forces him to spend time outside—which is just the way he likes it.

One of my favorite things about Tiny Houses are the way they make us re-evaluate. Whether someone decides to live in a space that is 89 square feet or 500 square feet or 2,000 aquare feet isn’t really the point. For me, it’s about the fact that they’ve taken the time to think about the space around them, to consider how much they need, the type of life they want to lead, and how they want to use it.

Here’s a video tour of Daniel’s tiny house. You can learn more about our film and building project, and find more small house interviews and video clips, on our website and on our facebook page.

Know someone with a unique Tiny House we should interview? Visit our website and shoot us an email!

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elephantjournal Aug 10, 2011 9:52am

Gregory Parascenzo this is a really nice posting… ***** keep up the positive energy!

Jennifer Marranci I love what he has done. I became interested in small homes after seeing the Tumbleweed homes. I don't think I could do something under 100 sq ft but I would like to try something around 300 to 400. I want only the things I need and as small as space as I can get them into.

Ty Hammes Nice project Merete. Amazing to think how different the world would be if we all lived in smaller homes. Less space for our junk, less energy used, more time outside, more community, etc. I look forward to seeing the final film

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Merete Mueller

Merete is a writer and filmmaker, and was once-upon-a-time the Managing Editor of elephant journal’s print incarnation, from 2006-2008. Today, you can find her on Twitter @meretemueller and on her blog To The Bones. Her first documentary, “TINY: A Story About Living Small”, about people who have downsized their lives into homes the size of a parking space, premiered at SXSW in March 2013.