The Tiny Houses of Black Rock City: Cargo Cult

by Christina Nellemann on September 2nd, 2013. 14 Comments

Another Burning Man event has come to a close and Black Rock City this year was jam packed full of interesting camps and structures. The city is the area where the nearly 60,000 people who come to the event live. Their “homes” are a selection of unique structures, trailers, buildings, tents, yurts and other forms of shelter that keep out the harsh sun, sometimes heavy winds and the dust that permeates the air.

tinman-pod

Last year, we camped by Tin Man and his fantastic metal pods. This year, we camped by him again and noticed the pods have been improved and they multiplied. Tin Man, a metal worker from Sacramento has been featured in Popular Science magazine with his walking pod, and his pod cabin is his home on the Playa. The bottom pod is a kitchen, the middle pod is a shower area and the top pod with the view is his bedroom. He even had a few guests staying in his camp and created a self-contained micro pod and some guest pods made of curtains.

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There were a lot of shipping container shelters out on the playa this year including this one with a constructed inner building that is air conditioned and accessed by a real door. This container was used by one of the Black Rock Rangers. Rangers are the city’s peacekeeping and helpful guides. They help people who are lost, work perimeters during various burns and stay in the city sometimes for several weeks.

ranger-house

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There were some very interesting domes this year including this structure that looked like an igloo.

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This dome was made entirely out of loaves of bread.

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These domes were kept full by constantly pumping air into them via a generator.

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This dome was built to look like a large bird of prey.

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If you come to Black Rock City in a tent, there are various structures you can place over your tent to keep it cooler and dust free. Our neighbor Kristal Light built a Monkey Hut around her Coleman Bayside tent (which even had a swinging door and a small closet) and our other neighbors built a custom sized post structure around their tent.

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tent-shelter

Some very colorful structures were in the city this year including yurts, circus tents, Moroccan tents and even a tipi covered in silk scarves.

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Of course, there were some beautiful little trailers in the city as well.

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Some unusual structures included a teardrop trailer sans trailer built onto the bed of a truck.

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A castle called the Coo Coo Camelot.

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A yellow, or lello, structure built on top of a shipping container. This structure was used by members of the Department of Public Works, the group who builds Black Rock City.

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The Open Mind Zendo near Fractal Planet was built out of cardboard boxes.

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This treehouse structure was built and used by the camp Dustfish.

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Hands down, my favorite camp in all of Black Rock City is Ashram Galactica. Their extremely well run camp contains the Grand Hotel, a colorful yurt and a set of beautifully decorated canvas bunk houses that serve as the Ashram Suites. Each of the suites are gifted by raffle to denizens of Black Rock City in a nightly drawing. They each have a theme including the Shanghai Suite, the Cambridge Suite and the French Boudoir.

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Photos by Christina Nellemann

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Alek’s Tiny House Project

by Kent Griswold on March 5th, 2013. 49 Comments

My name is Alek Lisefski. I’ll be starting to build my tiny house within the next month and hope to complete it by this summer. I designed it myself and will do as much of the construction as I can to save money and because I believe it’s an invaluable skill that everyone should have. I’ve set up a blog for my project here: http://tiny-project.com/

While I haven’t started to build yet, I’ve done a lot of designing and planning. Attached are some of the models I’ve created. A few things have changed, but they are fairly accurate to what I will be building. What looks like glass walls around the bathroom is just so I can see through them in my model. They will not actually be glass.

exterior plan

I plan to build on an 8×20 foot trailer. My house will feature many windows (including several large, south-facing windows, for passive solar gain). The house will have fold-down overhangs to shade windows from mid-day summer sun, and will also include a fold-down deck.

I’m currently looking to form connections, get advice, and hopefully convince a few companies to sponsor me to help make this dream a possibility for me. Continue Reading »

Asian Pop-Up Tiny Houses

by Christina Nellemann on January 7th, 2013. 20 Comments

With nearly 130 million people living in Japan alone and over 1.3 billion people in China, many Asian architects have been working on a few unique ways to house their inhabitants. Just like Japanese ramen, even some of their tiny homes have become “instant”. These two designs are a few examples of what are being labeled as pop-up houses:

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The Tricycle House

This tiny wheeled house from the People’s Republic of China is beneficial to people who may not be able to afford a city apartment or a home with land. The portable house is towed with a bicycle and can be configured in several ways. It’s constructed of translucent polypropylene plastic using a CNC router, it retains its strength during folding such that it can open up and expand for increased space and connection to other units. This tiny structure contains a kitchen with a sink, a bathroom with a small tub and a water tank, a living/ sleeping area with storage and even an attachable outdoor garden. Continue Reading »

January 7th, 2013and filed in Uncategorized
Tags: asian, cabinets, designs, house, pop-up, portable, rolling, tiny
20 Comments

The Small House Movement: What’s the Big Deal?

by Kent Griswold on October 10th, 2012. 17 Comments

This is a guest provided by YellowBlue Designs where they sell Green house plans and blog about all things sustainable for your home.

Compared to the rest of the world, North America often seems to be the epitome of all things super-sized. We live in houses and apartments that would be considered gigantic in many parts of the world. We fill up our houses with stuff, then we fill up our garages (a true luxury for most in the world) with stuff, and often end up renting self-storage units to handle the overflow! A whole cottage industry has sprung up just around dealing with forgotten and abandoned storage units.

Lakeside Cottage

Lakeside Cottage

Yet there are those who have found that having all that stuff doesn’t necessarily lead to greater happiness. In fact, dealing with all the possessions in our lives can itself become a significant source of stress. Now there’s a new movement afoot that says enough is enough. It’s the small house movement, but it makes a big impact in a number of important ways. Continue Reading »