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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Oskar’s superpower

Hi everyone!

First of all, I think I should start by introducing myself. My name is Oskar Jordan, and i am 19 year old student from Latvia. I have never had any experience in blogging or anything like that before, I personally prefer to express myself in a physical way.

Actually I think that blogging is a bit wierd because everyone can read your personal information and use it however they want.

In a current project I have a role of Tech steward, which is a bit funny, because as I have said I have never had an experience in blogging, and I am the one who is responsible for the blog. Nevertheless I hope that i will get used to it soon and everything will be alright.

As my superpower I concider it to be getting used to everything, for example I got used riding a bike instead of taking a bus or a tram, I got used to saying “dankjewel” instead of saying something else in stores.

So, I guess thats it for now, thank you for reading!f50c78a33ab91cb402c6b905a2966d405bfc0386102f14caa0b1afe13aa33c71

Tiny Blog

            So we are the Tiny Innovators and this is out first blog! We are going to give you a little bit of information about our NGO for our Project Communities assignment.

            To start things off – The Tiny House movement, also known as the small house movement, which is now spreading worldwide, is a trend where people choose to live their lives in smaller houses. A tiny house is generally supposed to be between 65 to 400 square feet, compared to a small house which, in most cases is between 400 to 1700 square feet. This trend is spread around by the Tiny House Intentional Communities, our NGO.

            The Tiny House Intentional Community consists of a group of ten acquaintances who are in the process of either building tiny houses or being in the process of doing so. “The real message behind the tiny house movement and simple living for me is being more conscious about how we live. This includes the purchasing and consumption decisions that we make but it also includes even deeper things like making goals for our lives and getting rid of the necessary ‘baggage’ to get what we want.”[1]

The Tiny House community in Florida now has over 1000 members in the Florida Tiny House Enthusiast Facebook group and is still expanding! If you’re looking for other tiny house communities, a list of communities from the USA is constantly being updating here: http://tinyhousetalk.com/communities.

            People who already accepted this challenge gave feedback in regards to the many benefits of living in a tiny house. Some examples of these are: living with nature, having a better environment, cleaning/maintaining the house takes less time, bills are cheaper, having freedom and independence, easy and manageable living space. Tiny houses best suit someone who is looking for a “space to be near a body of water, close enough to a big city and shopping, but not on a main high
way or train line.”[2]

            Furthermore, it is possible to finance a tiny house by getting a RV (Recreational Vehicle) certification for it. Financing is easier to get if you have good credit. If you wanted to build your own house, the costs would be around $25,000 to $30,000 in materials. If you wanted to buy a tiny house that has already been built then you can expect to pay from $27,000 to $68,000 for a home sized between 64 sq. ft. to 400 sq. ft.[3]

Of course challenges are always going to be present. Currently the challenges that our NGO is now being confronted with in 2015 are with getting funding from investors, creating starter homes and planning for an off-grid and self-sustaining tiny house community with this last challenge having the most emphasis and being the main goal.

Our contact for this project is Shorty Robbins, who is part of the Golden Teacup: A Tiny Victorian Community. This society which is interested in the portrayal of women from 1860-1865 – the American civil war period, began in 1997. This organization is recognized for its dedicated portrayals with attention to historic details. The Golden Teacup Society sets up camp with tents in dedicated civilian areas and recreates the homes, to portray the lives of women left behind during the war. When doing this they asked visitors to imagine the tents were homes, and this is where the Tiny House Community came into the picture. Not only did it create the solution to no longer needing to imagine the tents were homes, but also the many laboring hours they put into setting up the tents at every new area. [4]

To conclude the tiny house movement is in their own words: “about taking a stand on our human rights while creating and spreading freedom for ourselves and others because we deserve it. You deserve it. We’re here to end homelessness for good by inspiring and creating affordable homes to help all beings on this planet live happy and free.”[5] Now we have gathered some information about our NGO, and figured out what their accomplishments have been and what their aims and goals are for the future. This is something we can not wait to get involved in, and look forward to working with them and kick starting our project!

Keep your eyes open for more posts from us…we will be adding frequently and soon!

Tiny Innovators

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[1] http://tinyhousetalk.com/

[2] http://2015.projectcommunity.info/ngo-partners/tiny-house/

[3] https://padtinyhouses.com/how-much-does-a-tiny-house-cost/

[4] http://www.goldteacup.com

[5] http://tinyhousetalk.com/tiny-house-movement/