Ay, there’s the microhouse.
Last year in my daughter’s homeschool co-op, she attempted to help build an 8' Microhouse a la Ken Isaacs (quintessential hippie buildings of the 1970s - you can actually download a copy of his classic book, How to Build Your Own Living Structure here).
|From Ken Isaacs' book, How to Build Your Own Living Structure.|
Maybe it’s my own experience with having the only custom-made geodesic dome play structure in the neighborhood (Dad’s always been a real Buckminster Fuller fan), or my fascination with small spaces, but I was very excited when she undertook the project with her homeschool friends.
With minimal spatial, geometric, and woodworking skills, a group of ten kids attempted to make the biggest of Isaacs portable structures with his plans. When it was completed, you couldn't get me to step inside of it, but they did learn how to measure, calculate, cut, carry, and construct things with crappy wood: overall, a worthwhile experience.
|Like our dome, except it was made of wood and painted blue.|
|And she still has all her digits!|
But still, I yearn for the microhouse village in my own backyard.
|From Ken Isaacs' How to Build Your Own Living Structure.|
I was reminded of all this when I saw this article in Thursday’s New York Times. Mr. Diedricksen has done this very thing in his own backyard, and with his own designs. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a Save the World vision for these microhouses; I have long been interested in the basic human need of shelter in all its variations. The beauty of these little huts is that they offer the ability to gain, through a hands-on approach, some knowledge and skills in not only construction principles, but also ingenious space saving ideas in one small, but human-scale, self-contained, and affordable project.
As for Mr. Diedricksen, while I think he may have cut off his ponytail, the hippie is strong within him. Nonetheless, I enjoy his efforts in these mini-construction projects. His video for the pull-down table/fort that he designed for his kids is particularly fun.
More of his videos can be found at the tiny yellow house.