Reflection of Week 3

This week we have been progressing on addressing the Tiny House Community’s (NGO’s) needs. As we clarified earlier last week we will be looking how to make the community financially sustainable. We have transformed this need into what we think is a relevant visual interpretation, we are very pleased with the outcome: 

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We firstly brainstormed within our team to look at what solutions we could create, after we had formed some basis of ideas we briefly expanded on them and added anything that was relevant throughout the week.

Here is an image to show our generalised ideas from our first brainstorm:

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To expand on these ideas a little further with renewable energy we thought the community could use this to firstly generate energy for themselves and then with whatever energy they don’t use they could see back to ‘the grid’. With the tourism, we believe there a few angles from this which we could create a solution by having a larger plot of land the community could have a separate area where they could either have tiny houses to rent out or have open land to allow overnight stays for others with tiny houses, working like a campsite. In regards to a website we first believe it would be an advantage to the community to have a website and try and expand through networking. And with this there could be the potential to create money through advertisements. This would also help with the tourism idea along with our fourth initial solution of having a workshop where they could demonstrate to the public how they built their homes, what materials they used and the process they follow.

We forwarded this information to Shorty and asked what she thought to our initial ideas, which we further discussed through our Skype call this week. With the feedback she provided us with we contacted Nancy (who didn’t actually talk that quickly) and gave her an overview of what we had accomplished along with what we were planning to do in the future. She provided us with some very useful points to explore accompanied with websites to visit in aid of this.

The two online groups we chose to analyse this week were Small House Society and Tiny-houses.de. We decided to use these groups as they closely relate our project and NGO of the Tiny House Community.

The Small House Society: It was founded in 2002 by Jay Shafer, Shay Salomon, Nigel Valdez, and Gregory Paul Johnson. These four individuals were able to draw from their collective experience in housing design, home building, urban planning, and organizational management.

Nowadays Gregory Paul Jonson is facilitator of society the core board of advisers currently consists of Jay, Shay, Nigel, and Gregory. However, as a cooperatively run organization, all members have significant influence and serve as our larger advisory board.

To improve financial stability, the company asks for donation. You can find the list of donors and supporters here – http://smallhousesociety.net/membership/paying-members/

Also company has a website where you can become a paid member; basically it means that you donate 10$ every year (as I understood).

Society uses other designers and builders to improve their houses some of the homes are designed to offer basic economical shelter, others provide additional amenities and an aesthetic appeal that makes them more valuable.

You can see the list of designers and builders here – http://smallhousesociety.net/designers-builders/

Tiny-houses.de: It is an online website which gathered information about tiny house living in the United States and Germany. They do not only provide Information about tiny houses, but as well about circus-wagons and treehouses.

 Its creators thought about it as a platform to provide both individuals, as well as hotels and resort operators an overview of possible forms of residential, holiday and guest houses.

They do not only have very interesting, informative and (for our purpose) relevant articles from former tiny house builders, but also have a very active-up-to-date blog on their website.

But not only do they offer information, they create also contact to companies that are offering tiny houses for sell.  This side is not only interesting and informative for us, but to everyone who is interested not only in tiny houses, but in alternative ways of living.

In conclusion to this week we feel we have made a lot of progress, however still loads more to go, yet we are pleased with the initial ideas we have explored. With this and the feedback from Shorty and Nancy, we have a good idea of what we want to do next, with firstly investigating a little further into each of our ideas along with still expanding into new areas of solutions and make sure we have a good REASON for wanting to use these solutions. Additionally, we are going to look into Social Entrepreneurship (we will explain further soon what this is!) as it will aid us hugely in the progression of our assignment.

So we think we have written enough now, we are really looking forward to the coming weeks to explore further into our research and ideas. Thanks for reading!

Tiny Innovators.

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9 thoughts on “Reflection of Week 3”

  1. Great Reflection guys , about the different ways you can push the proyect with the brainstorming image and how to gain tourism apart from an atractive interior design and stuff , a good place for advertising is Airbnb , it’s right now the most frequently visited website in the world and also you dont have to depend on a ” real estate ” or tourism agency , the only thing you will have to think of is the mantaining of the house like cleaning , fixing things and stuff , so there could be a successful source of income over there , very envious of this amazing proyect , keep working 🙂

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    1. Thanks Emilio! Very positive comments which are much appreciated. I have previously used Airbnb… it’s a great website, we hadn’t got as far as where to advertise any potential tiny houses but we will definitely take your input into consideration if we follow this particular lead 🙂 Again, thanks for your comment!

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  2. TH peeps, I also posted a film on the cheap 3D printing of houses on FB. Not to say, “USE THIS” but to look into the possibility. These days there is even a wood based filliment for the 3D printers….

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    1. Hey Laura! We checked the video out and it looks very interesting and impressive. It is something we will definitely look into and see what possibilities there are. We would be curious to know how much it costs to build something like the offices as they seem a relatively similar size to the tiny houses! Thanks for forwarding the vid 🙂

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    2. Hey Guys,
      Just let me share my feelings toward the group work so far. As up to this point I enjoy the process of the blog. I think we have a good team (disaster-) bound and are quite productive. It took us quite some time to orientate us in the field of the Tinyhouses and for everybody to find his place in the group but I think we are on a good way. Last week we had a couple of group meetings and skype calls with Nancy and Shorty which turned out very resourceful. We gathered a lot of new information and perspectives, so that we have plenty to work on for the next weeks. With this in mind I can say I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks and hope you guys enjoy our blog as much as we do 🙂

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  3. Hopefully you have all enjoyed our blog for this week so far! Even though there is a lot of information in this week’s blog, I thought it would be good to add some additional information about the members of the Tiny House Community, especially as this was the topic for this week (Social Architecture!!). The community is wanting to be around 10 people strong. Currently there is 8 members, who as Shorty Robbins put it herself “Really have nothing in common but the Tiny Houses”, with only two of them previously knowing each other. So within the team they have a builder who goes by the name of Andrew, who is currently building a tiny house for the founder of the community – Emily. Athena, Cy and David are also currently building their own tiny houses who Andrew acts as consultant for, as well as the rest of the group. Additionally, there is Dorian who bought her tiny house from an external builder and unfortunately was not built by a certified builder which is another project of theirs: To create a certification for tiny house builders. Furthermore, last but not least Christine, the newest member, is currently living on a boat but transferring to a tiny house once she has sold her boat and will be building her own tiny home.

    Shorty kindly sent us a diagram explaining the Tiny House Community which she very nicely described as a flower with “other petals…still up for grabs” which I just realised can not be added by comment, so go to this link: http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2940321&s=8#.Vf1_dXjfEUU

    To conclude, the community is a collection of professional members who were brought together by the tiny house movement with lives and outside interests. Collectively they are diverse in age, religion and political beliefs who are “not looking to build a commune, but a community”.

    The source for this information was Shorty Robbins.

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  4. Our group is very productive and the communication within works really well, along with compensating excellently in our group and have a good working level, which can evidently be seen in the blog.
    But still we faced problems within the last week . For example the option of tourism brought a few difficulties with it. It doesn’t seem to be an option to employ people because they want to keep it to the community itself , even though all of them are employed and have jobs . Another problem would be the option of solar panels because mounting them to the top of tiny houses wouldn’t feature enough space to gain enough energy .
    To improve our productivity we decided to stay in closer contact and network with the other Tiny House team , so we can make sure to have the best possible product to solve our NGO’s problems . As well as the final video is a collaboration of both of our teams it would be the most obvious and best solution to connect and work together.

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  5. I want to add that we still have problems with the technical part and if somebody has suggestions about which app we should use to record the Skype meetings, please let us know. 🙂

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  6. For me Tiny House topic is very close, because I enjoy traveling and camping, that’s why a lot of times I imagined how great it would be to have a small movable house that could suit all your needs.
    Tiny house gives you a great opportunity to travel, but the other thing is living in it, and that’s why community is necessary. It helps its members to meet people with the same interest in tiny houses, also such communities gives a great opportunity to collaborate together, share ideas and help with problems which may appear. Also tiny house community can provide its members with necessary facilities like a big kitchen, dining room with enough places for everyone. To make all of it possible we have to come up with the idea on how to make the community financially sustainable, and I hope we will do our best in it.

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