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.

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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.

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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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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]

ClearSpace Modular Homes

by Christina Nellemann on July 23rd, 2012. 25 Comments

For lovers of clean, efficient, modern design with an eye toward outside living, ClearSpace Homes has come up with a few designs to appeal to people who want a tiny house. ClearSpace has been selling their prefab homes in the Austin, Texas area for several years and some parts of each design can be customized by the buyer. Their homes are offered in several colors and the interior can include reclaimed or new materials. A customized ClearSpace home will run about $125 per square foot which does not include site work, the foundation or shipping.

The first of their tiny homes is the ClearSpace Casita. This 432 square foot home includes a studio space that can accommodate a murphy bed/storage wall, work area, or built in display/book shelf. There is also space for a compact kitchen, a 3/4 bath and a generous sleeping/storage room. The best feature of the Casita is the protective enclosure that allows the owner to enjoy the outdoors. The interior space of the home has sliding glass doors which can be opened to allow for cross ventilation and there is a skylight above the loft. The base price of the Casita is $51,240.

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