12×12 Project

Logan Smith contacted me about the 12×12 Project. He has been in contact with the people involved in the project and wanted to share this letter with us.

Dear Logan,

Thank you for your continued interest in the 12×12 Project, and your support for our work on social media. Please bear with me as I give you a brief introduction to the project here.

The 12×12 Project stems from author and WPI Senior Fellow, William Powers, who was inspired by the powerful story of a North Carolina pediatrician who gave up a luxurious home to live off the grid in a 12′ x 12′ house and permaculture farm. Powers, who spent a season living in the tiny house, chronicled his stay in the 2010 award-winning, national “green living” bestseller, now in its fifth printing: Twelve by Twelve: A One Room Cabin, Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream.

The installation is a simple, modular space that houses panels containing text and questions from the Twelve by Twelve book. These panels will vary, allowing the project to grow and evolve. Participants including the public, invited groups, and artists will engage with the question: “What’s your 12×12?” to spark new thinking around what smart consumption means for each person.

This project falls under the institute’s Arts Policy Nexus, led by Senior Fellow Todd Lester. More information about this is available here: http://www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arts-policy.

World Policy

While it’s a shame that you won’t be able to join us at the launch party, please do feel free to invite anyone you feel might be interested. More information about the party, including registration details, can be found at this website: http://p0.vresp.com/5fwnDa. One thing though: guests should RSVP to me by Thursday to ensure that they can get into the Garden for free, and to ensure we cater adequately.

The installation runs throughout July in the Queens Botanical Garden, before migrating to Manhattan’s First Park on the Lower East Side in August, so if your NYC-based friends aren’t free this Saturday, we do still encourage them to visit it at some point and to document their reflections on the 12×12.

I’m also attaching some information on the project for your perusal. I would be glad to answer any further questions you may have about the 12×12 Project or the Arts Policy Nexus, or if I cannot, then I would be happy to direct you to someone who can.

12 x 12 cabin

Finally, I wanted to alert you to our first artist in residence, Beth Grossman (http://www.bethgrossman.com/) – Beth is based in San Francisco, so you may be interested in following her work there.

Thank you so much for your support and for your work, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Warmest regards,

Brendan Mark Foo
Project Manager – The 12×12 Project
World Policy Institute

7 thoughts on “12×12 Project”

  1. here’s my design:
    house interior 7x8wide, 7tall

    sml house interior 6x8wide,3.5tall

    house garden

    optional: bathroom and kitchen slide over on top of the bed, to compact to 6foot wide, as a trailor for traveling, than unslide it and open it when its time to live in it.
    optional: design so that electric and plumbing could be put into it later
    to live w/o plumbing and electrical built in: sml solar panel, heating blankets, space heater, air conditioner, rain water collection, hand pump well, sml portable water purifier that purifys sewage haz waste and salt water. go the the bathroom outside in a compost/humanure heap or scattered around in large area not where it wont contaiminate water

    do you like my design? suggestions? would you consider building or living in my design? fluffybunnypuff@yahoo.com

  2. This is a wonderful way to get people to really look at their spaces. Picturing the 12 X 12 dimensions helped me walk around my house with a tape measure just seeing where it is that I really spend my indoor time and how little space that requires. Then I looked at the space taken up by the kitchen where I spend very little time. The extra bedroom is what I call a “dustable”, a space I dust periodically and then close the door on for another few weeks. Finally, I marked off a 12 X 12 space in the front room and envisioned fitting the essential household furniture into that space.
    This was a really useful exercise and strengthened my resolve to live more lightly on this planet; it reminds me to be more mindful of the impact of my actions on all other beings, the flora, and Sweet Mother Earth. Tiny house living responds to so many of the environmental concerns of how we live.
    Thank you for posting this, Kent, and Logan, for sharing it. I am surprised to see that as of 8-1-13, there are only two responses. This is a discussion we need to have frequently with ourselves, our families, friends, neighbors, and anyone else who can’t get up and run away. The websites are quite helpful and the story is well worth reading.

  3. A 12×12 house could consist of a 6×6 bathroom, 6×3 daybed and 6×2 kitchenette.

    Try a bathroom with a 3×3 shower, one-foot corner sink. Store a cosmetic basket, towels and bathroom supplies on narrow shelving over a 3×3 toilet. A vanity is not really needed.

    Try a 6×3 daybed with underbed pull-out storage baskets for clothing and personal items. Eat, lounge, read or sleep on the daybed.

    Try a 6×2 kitchenette with a 24-inch under-counter combination washer/dryer, standard-sized kitchen sink and 24-inch under-counter fridge. Store a portable stovetop, stackable pans and a week of dry goods under the sink. Span windows across the countertop. Store dishware vertically on narrow shelving at the ends of the countertop.

    Use simple hooks to hang bathroom towels, kitchen towels, clothing, coats and a handy tote bag at the bedside.

    Go paperless. Use a handheld computer.

    A desk, dining room set, living room set, bedroom set, closets and excessive shelving are not really needed.

    • Picture a 12×12 area with an entry door at the lower right. Enter the door and the kitchenette is on the right. The bathroom is at the upper right and the daybed is at the upper left.

      When you enter the house with items, place them on the countertop to the right and hang your coat on a hook to the left of the door.

      This leaves a 9×10 area to the left of the door for entertaining, projects, etc.

      Try a folding shelf beneath a window sill as a desk or dining area.

  4. It just amazes me that worldpolicy.org takes the simple idea of a 12 x 12 shed and turns it into a wordy manifesto that bores the hell out of a reader. Also has a project manager…go figure.

    Just build it. More energy is spent discussing these simple structures than is used in the actual construction.

    My grandfather would be amazed that his chicken coop is ” the visual as a way to create community dialog.”


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