I’ve intentionally chosen simple living in community and small personal space habitation while sharing collective resources for most of my adult life. Since moving to the urban Bay Area with my daughter Emma (with its very expensive real estate), we have lived in small spaces; and tiny living is a fact of life for many. As our world population continues to expand concurrently with dwindling natural resources, economic decline and cultural disparities, tiny homes make sustainable sense! Thus, more and more people are drawn to the idea.
I also personally find that with less *stuff* on the material plane to concern myself with, I have more energy and time for the activities and pursuits that truly matter to me and bring my life meaning and satisfaction.
When I heard about Jay Shafer and his Tiny House years ago, I was captivated and have followed the movement since; all the while learning to live happily in smaller and smaller tiny spaces, including many stints of simple living while traveling on the road and without a physical home base. I’m happy to see Jay Shafer’s expansion into Four Light Houses and the fast growth of the Tiny House Movement. The Small House Book and The DIY Book are available on his new website.
Jay is now working to build a tiny house village in Sonoma County, California named Napoleon Complex: Cohousing for the Antisocial. Napoleon Complex is proposed to open in 2015, and it states on their new website, “Any or all of these ideas might change if we think of something even better.”
The village will be zoned as an RV Park with a density of 16 to 22 homes per acre for a total of 40 to 70 houses. It will have an 800-1600 square foot common house, private gardens, storage units, walkways, parking spaces, and shared outdoor space.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting B.A. Norrgaard on her way to meet Jay Shafer in Sebastopol for upcoming workshops. A local Meetup group of tiny house enthusiasts organized a Reveal of her Four Lights Tiny House. I loved it! B.A. built her house with the help of girls at M.A.G.I.C. Camp (Mentor A Girl In Construction Camp). She’s now traveling around the country sharing about her life and her tiny house. Here’s a cool video:
I also had the pleasure of meeting and sharing lunch with Steven Dorst, who is one of the organizers of a brand new group of people working together to co-create the first East Bay Tiny House Village. I’ve officially joined the group with the intention of supporting this important community-building project by offering my facilitation and other skills and am excited about meeting other new members in the working group soon.
East Bay Tiny House Village’s vision and mission are still in formative stages. The tentative plan is to make the village of tiny houses an educational demonstration project, with a warehouse facility and tools (either onsite or nearby) that people could rent to build their homes. The village would include shared common areas, like a large kitchen & dining facility, a bath house, hot tub, gardens, bike storage, and to locate the village located near public transit.
It’s an exciting project! I’m hopeful that the individual personalities in the group work well together and that the support needed will materialize to manifest it into reality. And that this will also hold true for Napoleon Complex Tiny House Village in Sonoma County. Maybe eventually we’ll have a network of tiny house villages linked into the broader intentional communities movement.
If all goes well and the vision comes to fruition, I’ll build my own tiny house and live in a tiny house village. Now that would be a grand kind of tiny! I’ll keep you posted on developments.