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Videos uploaded by user “Kirsten Dirksen”
Lego-style apartment transforms into infinite spaces
 
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Micro-apartment playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vVmlHtnQXc&list=PLMRx8kgwkvhIzw7NU0LtjJ0aH9kpR2Cn4 When Christian Schallert isn't cooking, dressing, sleeping or eating, his 24 square meter (258 square feet) apartment looks like an empty cube. To use a piece of furniture, he has to build it. Located in Barcelona's hip Born district, the tiny apartment is a remodeled pigeon loft. Designed by architect Barbara Appolloni, Christian says the space was inspired by the space-saving furniture aboard boats, as well as the clean lines of a small Japanese home. Christian sold his apartment and has reinvested his money and small space design ideas in opening a small hotel in Barcelona: www.hotelbrummell.com Christian Schallert, photographer: www.instagram.com/christianschallert Spanish-version tour with architect Barbara Appolloni: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/un-mini-apartamento-que-se-transforma-en-infinitos-espacios/ Architect Barbara Appolloni: http://www.barbaraappolloni.com/works_christianHouse.html Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/lego-style-apartment-transforms-into-infinite-spaces/
Views: 29202230 Kirsten Dirksen
Un mini-apartamento que se transforma en infinitos espacios
 
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Cuando Christian Schallert no se está vistiendo, cocinando, durmiendo o comiendo, su diminuto apartamento loft de 24 metros cuadrados en Barcelona se convierte en un cubo vacío. El apartamento se adapta a las necesidades de Schallert en cada momento, sin que por ello el espacio sea permanente ocupado por una cama, una gran mesa, o la cocina. Diseñado por Barbara Appolloni: http://www.barbaraappolloni.com/ Lee la rayueliana "Trilogía del Largo Ahora" por Nicolás Boullosa de *faircompanies: http://www.amazon.com/Nicol%C3%A1s-Boullosa/e/B00CQ92EKW Reportaje original aquí: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/un-mini-apartamento-que-se-transforma-en-infinitos-espacios/
Views: 8851232 Kirsten Dirksen
Backyard farmers by necessity: self-sufficient & debt-free
 
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When Myrna and Earl Fincher married 53 years ago they started farming their yard "out of necessity". Today, the Finchers make a living selling their organic produce to restaurants and at the local farmers' market twice a week for much of the year. They had no experience as farmers, but learned by trial and error.
Views: 528149 Kirsten Dirksen
Space saving furniture that transforms 1 room into 2 or 3
 
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Resource Furniture sells bookshelves, couches and desks- and a combination of the above- that are so highly engineered that they gracefully transform into beds. Gone is the amusing awkwardness of Murphy Beds, this more modern transforming furniture (much of it designed and made in Italy y Clei) is high style and almost, well, magical. Hydraulics make the transition from bookshelf or couch to bed a smooth and effortless thing to marvel. More info on original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/space-saving-furniture-that-transforms-1-room-into-2-or-3/
Views: 5175266 Kirsten Dirksen
Thoreauvian simple living: unelectrified, timeless tiny home
 
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Seven years ago Diana and Michael Lorence moved to a 12-foot-square home without electricity in the coastal mountains of Northern California.  They're not back-to-the-land types- they're not growing their own food, nor raising animals-, but, like Thoreau, they were looking for a place where they could get away from the noise of society and focus on their inner lives. For nearly 30 years they have lived in tiny houses, often in guest homes, though their current abode is the smallest and most fitting their needs. It was designed by Michael based on their experiences living in nearly 20 tiny homes across the country before finally settling here.  They don't have electricity nor any other type of alternative energy (i.e. solar power). They don't have a refrigerator so they eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts.  There's also no oven, but Diana says she doesn't bake anyway and she cooks their meals with their one cast iron pot over the fire. The fire is also their source of hot water, heat and light (in addition to candles). The Lorences are a private couple, but recently they have begun to speak out more about their lives in hopes of showing others that options such as theirs exist. Until now, the couple has turned down requests appear on video, not wanting to be categorized as simply another couple choosing to live in a tiny space. So I was pleasantly surprised when Diana and Michael agreed to let me visit their home with my camera. Original story here: http://www.faircompanies.com/videos/view/thoreauvian-simple-living-unelectrified-timeless-tiny-home/
Views: 1200856 Kirsten Dirksen
Tiny matchbox apartment hides closet & bathtub in drawers
 
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Micro-apartments are common in historically dense cities like Paris and Barcelona, but architect Valentina Maini wasn't interested in typical small space solutions like lofted sleeping quarters or murphy beds. She wanted her 25 square meter home (269 square feet) to look a bit more conventional, but to stack functions. She hired a carpenter to create a dining table that slides over a matching bench to create more room for guests (she's had 20 over for wine and cheese). She didn't stop there. The bench also slides to reveal a full-sized bathtub: her micro-spa. Valentina filled her need for leg-less chairs using traditional zen tatami chairs that can be placed above her bathtub/bench for eating or reading or removed for bath hour (or used to create a viewing lounge outside her balcony window). Not interested in the daily work involved in a transforming bed, Valentina simply raised her mattress a few extra feet and set to work creating a closet below. Recycling three large cabinets from her former work place (her tiny pad is now also her home office), she created sliding drawers for clothing that tuck within sliding drawers for the cabinets that all tuck neatly beneath her sleeping quarters (though if she'd had 20 centimeters more in height she would have created a hanging closet within the cabinets). More in original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/tiny-matchbox-apartment-hides-closet-bathtub-in-drawers/ Valentina Maini: www.valentinamaini.net
Views: 1651182 Kirsten Dirksen
Extreme transformer home in Hong Kong: Gary Chang's 24 rooms in 1
 
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Gary Chang has lived in the same 32 square meters (344 square feet) for nearly his entire life. Nearly 40 years ago, he moved into the tiny apartment with not only his parents and 3 younger sisters, but they rented a room to a tenant. During his childhood the space was divided into several small rooms- kitchen, bathrooms and 3 bedrooms (Chang slept on the couch). In 1988 when his family moved out (into something bigger), Chang bought the place from the landlord for $45,000 and began his experiments in small space design. Today, at first glance, the small space appears a fairly average open studio, but with pulls on handles, walls slide across steel tracks, Chang can have a "maximum kitchen", a guest bedroom, a library, dining room, laundry-room and even a spa: one walls slides to reveal an extra-large Duravit bathtub. His home is tricked out with a wall-sized movie screen, a shower with color therapy and massage that doubles as a steam room, but Chang argues that the moving walls are fairly low-tech. And while he can control his appliances with his smartphone he usually prefers the manual option. Chang is now an architect (Edge Design) with a focus on micro-apartments. *Cameraman Johnny Sanphillippo also films for the site Strong Towns: http://www.strongtowns.org/ Gary Chang's Edge Design: http://www.edgedesign.com.hk Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/extreme-transformer-in-hong-kong-gary-changs-24-rooms-in-1/
Views: 1124956 Kirsten Dirksen
Nebraska retiree uses earths's heat to grow oranges in snow
 
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Winter temperatures in Alliance, Nebraska can drop to -20°F (the record low is -40°F/C), but retired mailman Russ Finch grows oranges in his backyard greenhouse without paying for heat. Instead, he draws on the earth's stable temperature (around 52 degrees in his region) to grow warm weather produce- citrus, figs, pomegranates - in the snow. Finch first discovered geothermal heating in 1979 when he and his wife built it into their 4400-square-foot dream home to cut energy costs. Eighteen years later they decided to add a 16'x80' greenhouse in the backyard. The greenhouse resembles a pit greenhouse (walipini) in that the floor is dug down 4 feet below the surface and the roof is slanted to catch the southern sun. To avoid using heaters for the cold Nebraska winter nights, Finch relies on the warm underground air fed into the greenhouse via plastic tubing under the yard and one fan. Finch sells a "Citrus in the Snow" report detailing his work with his "geo-air" greenhouses and says anyone can build a market-producing greenhouse for about $25,000 or "less than the cost of a heat system on a traditional greenhouse". http://greenhouseinthesnow.com/index.html https://faircompanies.com/videos/nebraska-retiree-uses-earthss-energy-to-grow-oranges-in-nebraska-cold/
Views: 401915 Kirsten Dirksen
A tiny home tour: Jay Shafer's 89-square-foot home on wheels
 
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Jay Shafer of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company gives us a tour of his 89-square-foot home on wheels parked in Sebastapol, California. He sells plans for the Epu model for $859. Ready made: $45,997 Build it yourself: $19,950 Jay Shafer- Four Lights: http://www.fourlightshouses.com/pages/about-jay-shafer Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/a-tiny-home-tour-living-in-96-square-feet/
Views: 2031773 Kirsten Dirksen
Oldest US mall blends old/modern with 225-sq-ft micro lofts
 
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The Providence Arcade is nearly 2 centuries old, but when Evan Granoff bought it was considered one of the city’s most endangered properties. Realizing that the demand for commercial space would never match that for downtown housing, Granoff decided to convert the upper floors of the country's first indoor mall into tiny loft apartments. At just 225 square feet, the smallest units would have fallen below the city’s minimum size standard for apartments so Granoff decided to classify his micro-lofts as a rooming house. The Providence rooming house code allows for rooms as small as 80 square feet (single occupancy), as long as they don’t have a cooking facility. Fortunately, for Granoff and tenants, a microwave is not considered a cooking device. The tiniest units rent for $550 per month, almost half the city average, and all of them rented out almost immediately (there’s now a waiting list). Many of the tenants don’t spend a lot of time at home. We talked to Naz Karim, a doctor who works emergency room shifts, and plans to spend much of the year on a fellowship in Africa and Sharon Kinnier who uses the loft for when she’s working in a Providence lab formulating organic cosmetics (she spends the rest of the time with her husband in Washington D.C.). The bottom floor of the mall is still commercial, but Granoff limits it to micro retail so no chains and they’re all focused on fashion and art design. We stopped in at nude boutique where Amy Stetkiewicz, one of the 6 local designers, was closing up shop downstairs from her micro loft. Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/225-square-foot-micro-lofts-in-historic-providence-mall/
Views: 4226035 Kirsten Dirksen
Maison garage: old parking as tiny home in Bordeaux, France
 
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Jérémie Buchholtz wanted an affordable apartment in Bordeaux (he's a photographer who splits his time between Paris and Bordeaux so his budget was limited), but he wasn't finding anything he liked. Then he stumbled upon a listing for a garage.  There was no house, it was just an abandoned garage for sale. And it looked like one. It had big metal doors that blocked out any sunlight and inside it was being used more as a junk room. So Buchholtz called his friend and architect Matthieu de Marien who specializes in converting stores, offices and other spaces into homes. De Marien took one look at the historic street and recognized it as something special. Passage Buhan is a private passageway where the owners each own half of the road so life extends into the street. And the history here is rich: a couple centuries ago, the laneway housed horses and their riders en route to the then city of Bordeaux and the old stable still sits on the street. Buchholtz bought the property and De Marien quickly cut into the old garage to create more light and ventilation. The roof is historic and couldn't be touched so he carved a 12 square meter (129 square foot) patio out of the small space, leaving only 41 square meters of living space (441 square feet). In order to make the space feel larger, De Marien created a "house within a house": one large piece of furniture that includes the bathroom, bedroom, office, closet, a sofa bed and all of the home's storage. With everything contained in this large furniture box, the rest of the home was given more breathing room. Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/maison-garage-old-garage-as-tiny-home-in-bordeaux-france/
Views: 2751561 Kirsten Dirksen
California DIY, shipping container tiny home and a cargo trailer bedroom
 
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Lulu is a single mom who'd gone back to school and didn't have the time or interest in working full-time to pay for rent. So when she had to move out of her more conventional home, she decided to move herself and her daughter into a shipping container. With no building experience, Lulu spent just one month cutting windows and a door and installing insulation and a basic kitchen (complete with propane-powered campstove and on-demand water heater).  Then she and her daughter moved into the 8 by 20 foot square foot home, fitting a bed, couch, bookshelf and kitchen cabinets into the 160 square foot box. When Lulu decided they needed a bit more space, she went from shipping to trucking waste and began to build their bedroom on a used flatbed trailer. "It's really mostly built like a shed. It's a nice looking shed, but it's really an 8 by 16 shed with windows in it." Using only recycled building materials- including used floorboards, windows, cabinets, doors, bathtub, toilet and sinks- she built the entire thing for about $4,000 (trailer included). Original story here: http://www.faircompanies.com/videos/view/california-shipping-container-tiny-home-cargo-trailer-room/ Music credit: "I Am a Man Who Will Fight for Your Honor" by Chris Zabriskie (http://chriszabriskie.com/)
Views: 11579665 Kirsten Dirksen
Tiny, portable, prefab cube shelters in medieval French town
 
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They're just 3 meters (9.8 feet) by 3 meters and just about as high. They'd make great tiny homes, but these portable cube prefabs- they can be moved on a flatbed (in 2 parts) and dropped anywhere with a forklift- are being used across France as rural hotels. Carré d'étoiles translates to "box of stars" and this vacation prefab was designed for stargazing, with a large domed skylight just feet above the lofted bed. It's less than 100 square feet, but it sleeps four (platform and sofa beds) and includes a kitchen with stove, sink and refridgerator, sitting area, a bathroom, a shower, plus storage and shelving. They're not cheap, but the 30,900 euro (~$40,000) price tag, includes all transport to the site and marketing (since it's assumed they'll be used as vacation rentals). In this video, Caroline of the Carrés d'étoiles de la Paleine, France shows us the three cubes she has installed on the premises of her home/chateau/hotel in the medieval village of Puy-Notre-Dame (in the Loire-Anjou-Touraine regional park). Original story here: http://www.faircompanies.com/videos/view/tiny-portable-prefab-cube-shelters-in-medieval-french-town/
Views: 401285 Kirsten Dirksen
Modern hobbit house: a tiny cob home
 
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Margaret Krome-Lukens shows us the cob home being built by interns at North Carolina's Pickards Mountain Eco-Institute. Since iher new home is less than 150 square feet, she talks about the joy of giving up stuff to move in.
Views: 432775 Kirsten Dirksen
Simple life Manhattan: a 90-square-foot microstudio
 
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By choosing a studio that measures just 12 feet by 7 feet, Felice Cohen can afford to live in Manhattan's Upper West Side where apartments rent for an average of $3,600 per month. She pays just over $700 for her 90-square-foot microstudio. After a bit of adjustment she now loves living smaller, simpler and cozier. Felice's book "90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 s.f.": http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Living-Large-Square-Feet-ebook/dp/B01CM3XU0E Felice's website: www.felicecohen.com Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/simple-life-manhattan-a-90-square-foot-microstudio/
Views: 19862412 Kirsten Dirksen
Backyard aquaponics: DIY system to farm fish with vegetables
 
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Rob Torcellini bought a $700 greenhouse kit to grow more vegetables in his backyard. Then he added fish to get rid of a mosquito problem and before long he was a committed aquaponic gardener. Now his 10 by 12 foot greenhouse is filled with not only vegetables, but fish. And the best part is: the poo from that fish is what fertilizes his garden. Aquaponics combines fish farming (aquaculture) with the practice of raising plants in water (hydroponics). It's organic by definition: instead of using chemical fertilizers, plants are fertilized by the fish poo (and pesticides/herbicides can't be introduced to kill pests because they could harm the fish). Since the plants don't need dirt, aquaponics allows gardeners to produce more food in less space. And in addition to the vegetables they can grow, most aquaponics gardeners cultivate edible fish as well. In this video, Rob shows us the aquaponics greenhouse in his Connecticut backyard, that he built mostly from scavenged parts, as well as his DIY indoor system where he's growing lettuce under a grow light. Bigelow Brook Farm: www.bigelowbrook.com Original story on faircompanies: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/backyard-aquaponics-diy-system-to-raise-fish-with-veggies/
Views: 1596951 Kirsten Dirksen
Artist builds his Savannah studio with shipping containers
 
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Architect, artist, designer Julio Garcia had been designing plans for shipping container homes for a decade before he found the perfect place to build one: on a long, narrow stretch of his property in Savannah, Georgia. “I’m a big believer we should be adapting to the environment… I remember walking out and looking at the yard and thinking oh my god the land is calling for this linear design.” He picked up two 40 foot shipping containers from the Port of Savannah and, thanks to much advance planning, he was able to install them without removing one tree from his property. He offset the two boxes, cut out the interior container walls and added I-beams, a shed roof and clerestory windows in the center to provide plenty of daylighting. “There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re inside a container so in the design we had to address that. I’ve been in a couple of projects and they don’t function very well and you’re like, ‘Oh, I still feel like I’m in a metal box’.” Garcia believes containers can make for affordable homes: “you could put up a structure like this for about 50K”, but much of the interior was salvaged from other job sites (i.e. the drywall and the kitchen). His Price Street Projects creates plans that are “almost do-it-yourself plans” for shipping container homes and he has installed commercial container spaces, but he’s a big believer that the site should determine the design. http://pricestreetprojects.com/ Original story: https://faircompanies.com/videos/artist-builds-his-savannah-studio-with-shipping-containers
Views: 1170571 Kirsten Dirksen
Passive solar glass home: feng shui in North Carolina
 
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A passive solar dream house in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. "Until you live in a glass house I don't think you notice as much how the sun moves," explains homeowner Cliff Butler. "We see it move daily."
Views: 67532 Kirsten Dirksen
Amaranth: a superfood for the backyard gardener
 
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Cultivated as a grain for 8,000 years, today, Amaranth is gaining popularity as a crop of the future. It's a very adaptable, drought-tolerant and hardy plant; in fact, most species of Amaranthus are classified as a weed (commonly known as pigweed). It's also a kind of superfood; it's high in protein (12-17%), calcium (more than spinach) and amino acids like lysine (deficient in most grains). The leaves are high in vitamins A and C, riboflavin, and folic acid.
Views: 78357 Kirsten Dirksen
Couple's own Paris-Dakar using Land Rover transformer-camper
 
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Brice grew up in Morocco overlanding across Africa in 4x4s and 6x6s. When he met his wife Irina they organized off-road trips across the “land of the pharaohs, and Lawrence of Arabia”, but soon realized that as a couple they wanted more overnight comfort so they turned their Land Rover into an quick-transforming micro camper. With the press of a button, the standard car pops up and out and in 43 seconds becomes a tiny home complete with kitchen, toilet and indoor shower. To take advantage of the limited size within a standard wheelbase, the couple placed a lot on tracks: the dining table/benches slide to make room for a shower stall (rainshower fixture included); the toilet slides out from within the stall. With the push of other buttons, the bed drops down from the ceiling on wires and the back rack drops down into an instant deck. To create a comfortable off-grid experience, the entire roof of the car is covered in solar panels which provide all of the campers’ electrical needs. The stove runs on the same diesel from the car’s tank to keep things simple and easy to access in remote regions. The couple named their car, and company, Wild Fennec after a nocturnal fox of the Saharan desert and they are selling their vulpine vehicle for 50,000 euros. Wild Fennec https://www.wild-fennec.com/ Original story: https://faircompanies.com/videos/couples-own-paris-dakar-using-land-rover-transformer-camper/
Views: 458536 Kirsten Dirksen
Shipping container family home: building blocks in Redwoods
 
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Shipping container playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMRx8kgwkvhJ7C_htu4x5i_-rCYapdlDC Kam Kasravi and Connie Dewitt wanted a modern cabin that wouldn't disrupt the Redwoods on their property. First they considered prefabs, but quickly realized they wouldn't fit up the narrow road to their land in the Santa Cruz mountains. So they convinced their friend, architect David Fenster, to design them a home made from shipping containers. Built from recycled cargo containers hand-picked from the Port of Oakland, Six Oaks was built around the footprint of the land. The containers were building blocks that were cut and stacked to fit between Redwoods along a steep grade. While the home was assembled in 6 hours, it took nearly a year to finish the interior since so much of it was custom. The unique materials meant some unique requirements: instead of carpenters, they used welders; a commercial roofer had to be hired, etc. Acoording to Connie, it wasn't "the cheapest way to build", but It cost about $50 per square foot less than a more conventional custom home. They didn't aim to build an extreme home, but the couple feel confident their home will hold up well under extreme conditions- i.e. falling trees, forest fires. Connie jokes that if a tree does fall on the home, "it will get a little dent and we'll call the auto body shop to fix the house". David Fenster, MODULUS architects http://www.modulus.com/modulus.html *Thanks to Connie and NorCal Construction for the construction time lapse: http://www.norcalconstruction.com/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/shipping-container-family-home-in-redwoods-adapted-to-site/
Views: 2745132 Kirsten Dirksen
6 rooms into 1: morphing apartment packs 1100 sq ft into 420
 
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In 2010, we met Graham Hill- the founder of treehugger.com and a serial entrepreneur. He had just bought two tiny apartments in a century-old tenement building in Soho and he had plans to turn them into laboratories, and showcases, for tiny living. He'd spent most of the past year living in tiny spaces- "a tiny trailer, a tent, and then a boat" and he was convinced others would love it as much if small spaces could be designed right. He wanted a tiny space that didn't sacrifice function, but instead that would expand to provide a wish list including dinner parties for 12, accommodations for 2 overnight guests, a home office and a home theater with digital projector. Not wanting to limit himself to local architects, he crowdsourced the design as a competition and received 300 entries from all over the world. Two Romanian architecture students won with their design "One Size Fits All". Completed in 2012, his LifeEdited apartment doesn't resemble the cramped space we saw in 2010. Today the 420-square-foot space can be expanded to include the functionality of 1,100 square feet: walls, drawers and beds move and unfold to create 6 rooms: living room, dining room, office, guest office, master bedroom and guest bedroom. If you include the kitchen and the bathroom which morphs into a phone booth or meditation room, the apartment includes 10 total rooms. More info on original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/6-rooms-into-1-morphing-apartment-packs-1100-sq-ft-into-420/ LifeEdited: http://www.lifeedited.com/
Views: 8363858 Kirsten Dirksen
Shipping containers recycled into affordable, accessible Utah home
 
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Real estate broker Jeff White dreamed of transforming used shipping containers into affordable housing. Laughed at by the first architects he approached, he began to work on his concept using a 40-foot-long, 9-foot-6-inches-tall and 8-foot-wide container in the driveway of his Salt Lake City (Utah) home. Being "busted" by a city inspector became the needed publicity for his project and soon after the Salt Lake's mayor was behind him and helped to ease the permits and inspections process. After two years of transformation (including plans, groundwork and permits), what began as two forty-foot high cube containers is now a light and airy 672-square-foot house. It's not dirt cheap- the Sarah House (named for a San Francisco homeless woman whose makeshift home inspired White) is currently on the market for $135,000 (and only to low-income buyers)-, but that price includes a lot of hidden costs. "I spent 40 thousand dollars for the lot and then the infrastructure underneath it, getting the sewer, water lines, probably an additional 25 thousand dollars. So you can see where I'm at, the house is still coming in at 55 to 60 thousand dollars." White thinks with time and economies of scale, he can bring the costs down. Sarah House: http://crossroadsurbancenter.org/projects/sarah-house Filmed by Johnny Sanphillippo -- more of his stories about urbanism, adaptation & resilience: http://granolashotgun.com/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/shipping-containers-recycled-into-affordable-salt-lake-home/
Views: 3302476 Kirsten Dirksen
Tiny Origami apartment in Manhattan unfolds into 4 rooms
 
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In 2005, third-grade-teacher Eric Schneider bought as big as an apartment as he could afford in Manhattan. He paid $235,000 for a 450-square-foot studio with a tiny kitchen. Then he let architects Michael Chen and Kari Anderson of Normal Projects design a way to pack more density into his small space. In order to fit more apartment in a small footprint, they created an object that's bigger than furniture, but smaller than architecture and that morphs with the changing activities of a day. It's a large, blue, oversized cabinet that houses all of the walls/bed/tables/shelving/closets needed for at least 4 full-sized rooms. By continuing to unfold, or fold differently, Schneider can create a bedroom with accompanying built-in nightstand and closets, but an office plus library, a guest bedroom, and a living room. Or close it up entirely and simply flip down the small bar and the room becomes entertaining space for a dozen. The Normal Projects architects called their creation the Unfolding Apartment, though given Schneider's affinity for the Japanese sense of space (he spent his first year post-college living and teaching in Japan), it could as easily be called the Origami Apartment. In total, Schneider spent $70,000 total remodeling his new apartment and this includes not just the cabinet, but the bathroom renovation, all cabinetry, kitchen appliances, furniture and dishes. In this video, Chen shows us his custom cabinet of rooms and Schneider unfolds a few of his favorite configurations: his bedroom (& closet/changing room), office (& library), guest bedroom, kitchen, dining bar, living room and lounge. Normal Projects/Michael Chen Architecture: http://www.normalprojects.com/ Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/tiny-origami-apartment-in-manhattan-unfolds-into-4-rooms/
Views: 4455169 Kirsten Dirksen
Soil-less sky farming: rooftop hydroponics on NYC restaurant
 
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Chef John Mooney believes so strongly in local food that for his latest restaurant in Manhattan's West Village, most of his produce travels just 60 feet from the building's roof to his kitchen. He's able to grow nearly two-thirds the vegetables for his restaurant- Bell, Book & Candle- because he doesn't rely on soil. Instead, Mooney and his partner Mick O'Sullivan installed 60 vertical tower hydroponic systems. Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/soil-less-sky-farming-rooftop-hydroponics-on-nyc-restaurant/
Views: 258229 Kirsten Dirksen
Austin coder builds timeless cob home using precise patterns
 
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When Gary Zuker bought an undeveloped piece of land outside of Austin (Texas) 25 years ago, he knew the only way he could afford a home on it was to build it himself. With no building experience, he immersed himself in architecture books at the University of Texas (where he works as a computer engineer). He fell in love with medieval straw-clay cottages and cob buildings from around the world. After just a day learning the technique on another build, he was ready to build his own home. Besides advice from an architect friend to use a scissor-truss system for roof support, some help with framing, stone-work and plumbing, Zuker worked alone (no building permits were required in Travis County at that time). The build ended up taking him 3 years (nights and weekends while working full-time) and cost about $40,000 ($25,000 to build the house and $15,000 for the well and septic system). Zuker was heavily influenced by the classic design handbook A Pattern Language (written mainly by architect Christopher Alexander) so rather than designing the home ahead of time, he waited to decide on details until after the home was under construction. More patterns from Gary: http://placepatterns.org/place/the-zuker-house/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/austin-coder-builds-timeless-cob-home-using-precise-patterns/
Views: 306067 Kirsten Dirksen
On building your dream (floating) home-studio, the Dutch way
 
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When architect Julius Taminiau and his girlfriend needed more space for their growing family, they left their tiny Amsterdam flat and bought what was the best deal in town at the time, an old houseboat in a floating community. They decided to sell the boat (for 1 euro) to make way for their dream houseboat. To achieve two full floors within the five-meter height limit set by the docks, Taminiau built the lower rooms partially-submerged. With a nod to Japanese design, Taminiau relied on the proportions of a tatami mat to layout the rooms, paying attention to weight distribution so the home would afloat. The boat was built 100 kilometers away (on water) and sailed to its moorings. Nearly one half of the home is devoted to Taminiau’s office and an independent studio complete with kitchen, bathroom and self-crafted transforming couch bed that can be rented out for extra income. The middle of the boat is dedicated to kids’ bedrooms and toilets and the remaining side houses the parents’ bedroom and the kitchen and living room above it. The floating community where the family is moored is very dense and Taminiau thinks it could be a solution for growing cities to add housing stock. He likes being close to his neighbors and says it’s a real “floating village”. http://juliustaminiau.nl/
Views: 63668 Kirsten Dirksen
Brooklyn crafted, impermanent house gets wiser with owner
 
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Tim Seggerman bought his Brooklyn home (Crown Heights) at an auction in 1987 for $140,000 (his down payment of $14,000 was his entire savings). It had been abandoned for 20 years and had holes in the roof, but Seggerman was trained as a builder and carpenter so he began working on it himself. Over the past couple of decades the home has grown with Seggerman's changing needs: a lofted bed became an indoor cabin for kids and when the nieces and nephews had grown, it became a lofted bed again; the bedroom was once divided to provide workspace for his ex-wife, but after the divorce the wall came down; and a once-open corner office became a shuttered workspace and is now- in preparation for Seggerman's retirement- is morphing into an open movie library. Seggerman is both architect and builder, as well as a master carpenter, and he's crafted all of the home's furniture, mostly out of scrap materials and local woods. He believes in taking his time to build and that a home is never finished. It's an idea embraced by the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi: everything is impermanent, unfinished and imperfect. In Seggerman's home cables and pipes are uncovered and molding has been removed to leave the caulk line visible. More info in original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/brooklyn-crafted-impermanent-house-gets-wiser-with-owner/
Views: 262882 Kirsten Dirksen
How 16 containers became 8 market-rate Phoenix apartments
 
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On an old used car lot in Phoenix, architects Brian Stark and Wesley James placed 16 used shipping containers and turned them into 8 one-bedroom apartments. With the goal of creating market-rate rental units, the architects tried to work with the containers rather than altering them. The containers are stacked as they would be on ships, using the cam-lock (twist lock) system to lock them in place two stories high. The container doors were left in place - welded open or shut in an alternating pattern - and serve as the main source of daylight. Only a few small windows are cut from the sides of the containers. The Containers on Grand apartments (the first container apartments in the Western US) now rent at market rate ($1000/month for a 740-square-foot one-bedroom; the going rate for the up-and-coming arts district just outside downtown). While this type of construction may never out-compete the area’s “stick and stucco” vernacular, Stark argues that it could compete strongly in a place like San Francisco where labor costs are high. What would prevent this type of building from scaling are codes (there are height limits due to combustion regulations) and financing. Containers on Grand was self-financed (Stark and James became investors, among others), since, as Stark explains, “banks aren’t on board yet with financing a shipping container project”. One unit is being rented on VRBO as a nightly rental https://www.vrbo.com/852066] Original story: https://faircompanies.com/videos/how-16-containers-became-8-wanted-market-rate-phoenix-condos/
Views: 609284 Kirsten Dirksen
NYC "Swiss Army knife" apartment's walls open, fold & slide
 
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Rosa and Robert Garneau's Chelsea apartment is small- just 550 square feet of usable space with a bedroom just 8 feet wide-, but they can both work from home, find privacy (even for meetings while the other is sleeping) and fit all their belongings (sports equipment and lots of office gear) thanks to walls that don't stand still. Nearly every "wall" in the Garneau's Transformer Loft opens to reveal cabinets, a bed or even a home office. And all of it was carefully designed for utility and precision. The hydraulics on their Murphy bed are so perfectly balanced that it opens and closes with fingertips. The 500-pound track-mounted sliding wall that both separates their office/kitchen from the bedroom relies on ball bearings so smooth it makes little noise when it moves, despite being heavy enough to act as a real wall. The main table in the kitchen area serves multiple purposes thanks to hydraulic legs that have been programmed with preset heights for meals, work (both sitting and standing work desk) and cooking (different for both 5-foot-4-inch Rosa and 6-foot-4-inch Robert). There is storage everywhere and most of it is well-hidden. In the bathroom, seamlessly tiled walls click open to reveal cabinets and towel rods open to reveal clothes hampers. The bedroom closet has pull-down rods that double the usable closet space. The hall closet has shoe shelves built into the door. Everything serves multiple functions- even the sliding door serves to conceal shelving when the bedroom is closed. "The analogy I love to use," explained Robert to Dwell Magazine, "is that our apartment is like a Swiss Army knife: a compact, well-designed, functional thing of beauty." Garneau's "Pivot apartment": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTNm6IH2QT4 More info on original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/nyc-swiss-army-knife-apartments-walls-open-fold-slide/ Design (including cabinets & furniture) by Studio Garneau: http://www.studiogarneau.com/
Views: 1183671 Kirsten Dirksen
Medieval Spanish ghost town becomes self-sufficient ecovillage
 
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It's a utopian fantasy- discover a ghost town and rebuild it in line with your ideals-, but in Spain where there are nearly 3000 abandoned villages (most dating back to the Middle Ages), some big dreamers have spent the past 3 decades doing just that. There are now a few dozen "ecoaldeas" - ecovillages - in Spain, most build from the ashes of former Medieval towns. One of the first towns to be rediscovered was a tiny hamlet in the mountains of northern Navarra. Lakabe was rediscovered in 1980 by a group of people living nearby who had lost their goats and "when they found their goats, they found Lakabe", explains Mauge Cañada, one of the early pioneers in the repopulation of the town. The new inhabitants were all urbanites with no knowledge of country life so no one expected them to stay long. When they first began to rebuild, there was no road up to the town so horses were used to carry construction materials up the mountain. There was no electricity either so they lived with candles and oil lamps. In the early years, they generated income by selling some of their harvest and working odd jobs like using their newfound construction experience to rebuild roofs outside town. Later they rebuilt the village bakery and sold bread to the outside world. Their organic sourdough breads now sell so well that today they can get by without looking for work outside town, but it helps that they keep their costs at a minimum as a way of life. "There's an austerity that's part of the desire of people who come here," explains Mauge. "There's not a desire for consumption to consume. We try to live with what there is." Today, the town generates all its own energy with the windmill, solar panels and a water turbine. It also has a wait list of people who'd like to move in, but Mauge says the answer is not for people to join what they have created, but to try to emulate them somewhere else. "If you set your mind to it and there's a group of people who want to do it, physically they can do it, economically they can do it. What right now is more difficult is being willing to suffer hardship or difficulties or... these days people have a lot of trouble living in situations of shortage or what is seen as shortage but it isn't." Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/medieval-spanish-ghost-town-now-self-sufficient-ecovillage/
Views: 721060 Kirsten Dirksen
Lloyd Kahn on his NorCal self-reliant half-acre homestead
 
25:55
At 80 years old, Lloyd Kahn is an icon of alternative housing. In the seventies he was a poster child of the geodesic dome (he published Domebook One and Two and he and his dome home were featured in Life magazine). He got his start in publishing when Stewart Brand made him the shelter editor for the Whole Earth Catalog. The book that put him on the map as a publisher was “Shelter”, an international survey of alternative housing that he continues to sell over 4 decades later. Kahn’s enthusiasm for shelter extends to “building every place I’ve ever lived”, including his current home which started as a dome and is now a more traditional shelter capped by a 30-foot-tall hexagonal tower (the only remnant of the dome). His home is only a small part of his half-acre homestead where he and his wife Lesley Creed believe in doing things for yourself, when possible. Besides tending the organic gardens (and dozens of free-range chickens), Creed is a natural dyer, quilter, sourdough bread-maker and believer in the “value of actually working, not just trying to figure out how not to work”. On our visit to the homestead, Kahn showed us his wild-caught pigeons, his seaweed harvest, well-fermented sauerkraut, home-cured olives, oatmeal grinder and workshop (where he still keeps his father’s “nuts and bolts box”). We caught Creed baking her sourdough bread (from her kitchen-harvested starter) and drying “bread seed” poppies. Years ago the couple were pushing the boundaries of self-sufficiency to include goats and harvests of wheat, but Kahn found his limits. “With self-sufficiency you never get there, you never become self-sufficient. I mean we tried back in the seventies. We had goats and chickens and bees and I was trying to raise grain. Pretty soon I realized that if I want to raise enough wheat for the bread for a year here, it’s better left to a specialist, like I can’t be my own dentist. So you do, it’s a direction self-sufficiency. You do what you can do as much of it as you can.” Shelter Publications: http://www.shelterpub.com/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/lloyd-kahn-on-his-norcal-self-reliant-half-acre-homestead/
Views: 738903 Kirsten Dirksen
Big Easy's shotgun: cross-ventilated narrow houses stay cool
 
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Since the 1830s shotgun houses (AKA shotgun shacks, shotgun cottages, shotgun huts, “long houses”) have been popular in New Orleans. Usually no more than 12 feet wide, these “long houses” are long and skinny with rooms lined up in a straight line such that if you fired a shot through the front wall it could exit the back door without touching a wall. In 19th century New Orleans, shotgun cottages were a common home for century immigrant workers. They could be easily and cheaply constructed by inexperienced builders since their simple roofs don’t require gables. They are also ideal for hot climates; by opening the back and front doors, a breeze will flow through the home unobstructed. We visited Lillian and her 400-square-feet in the Irish Channel neighborhood of New Orleans (home to many 19th century Irish, Italian and German immigrants). She gives us a tour and talks about the possible West African origins of the architectural style (http://www.datacenterresearch.org/pre-katrina/tertiary/shotgun.html) and the different variations of shotgun home: “double-barrel” (two shotguns with a shared wall) and “camelback” (a shotgun with a second floor at the rear). Original video: big-easys-shotgun-cross-ventilated-narrow-houses-stay-cool
Views: 105832 Kirsten Dirksen
Salvaged tiny homestudios: tin can siding, paper bag wallpaper
 
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On a standard-sized lot in Portland, Oregon, self-taught builders Jeff and Brad built two tiny cottages using mostly salvaged materials. Each home is 364 square feet and with gabled roofs and front porches match the Victorian and Craftsman homes of the neighborhood, until you look closely. Tomato sauce cans from the local pizza shop became siding. A neighbor's old chimney became brick foundation. A porch swing was crafted from a Dairy Queen bench. Window boxes from salvaged vent hoods. Rain chains from olive oil cans. Inside, wallpaper is old flour sacks and paper shopping bags (with their labels exposed). Terra-cotta roof tiles are sconces for lights. Phoenix lives in one of the cottages with her 20-something son Christopher. They share the 364 square feet comfortably, even managing to fit in space for Phoenix's yoga practice and her sons' art studio (in sitting-room only loft). Despite the at times cramped quarters, Phoenix feels much more comfortable here than in her previous home that was nearly 10 times the size. Portland Garden Cottages: http://portlandgardencottages.com/Portland-Garden-Cottages Christopher's portraiture/caricature: GotYourFace.com Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/salvaged-tiny-homestudio-tin-can-sides-paper-bag-wallpaper/
Views: 903051 Kirsten Dirksen
"Mountain man" home from scrap material on Idaho farm
 
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"Black Kettle" hasn't lived in a home since 1974 which might explain why he chose to build his own when he finally opted for a roof over his head. Short of the insulation just about everything is secondhand. Here he shows us his windows from a remodel job, the old fence posts he used for exterior walls, his outdoor bed and his backyard garden with corn and amaranth. Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/diy-be-house/
Views: 195313 Kirsten Dirksen
Tiny open house: Jay Shafer's 120-square-foot modular wee home
 
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Jay Shafer of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company holds an open house for his newest creation- the 120-square-foot Craftsman style box bungalow. It's a slight step up from the 96-square-foot he just sold, but this one has modular elements so buyers can put the kitchen and bathroom wherever they choose. Jay Shafer- Four Lights: http://www.fourlightshouses.com/pages/about-jay-shafer More info in original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/tiny-open-house-one-worlds-smallest-homes-for-sale/
Views: 162323 Kirsten Dirksen
Food not lawns: urban gardens in Eugene (Oregon) yards
 
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Food Not Lawns founder Heather Flores takes us for a tour of some guerrilla gardens and de-lawned sites in Eugene, Oregon. Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/food-not-lawns-growing-your-own-yard/
Views: 38875 Kirsten Dirksen
Raw sauerkraut: a fermented, probiotic superfood
 
04:19
"Sauerkraut is almost a perfect food," explains Alexander Valley Gourmet's founder David Ehreth. "It has cabbage which is a good thing to eat [ranked as one of the 10 best foods you're not eating] and then fermented it is a particularly healthful food because it has a lot of probiotic and probiotic just means the bacteria that is normal in our bodies and that needs to be reinforced on a regular basis which is what sauerkraut does." In this video, Ehreth shows us his fresh, unpasteurized sauerkraut and talks about the trend toward more probiotic foods in the market. Video where we try to make fermented sauerkraut at home: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZruwvuTtdRI Video with fermentation guru Alex Hozven of The Cultured Pickle: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/the-coca-cola-fermented-foods-pickling-any-vegetable/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/raw-sauerkraut-a-fermented-probiotic-superfood/
Views: 69976 Kirsten Dirksen
Experiments in small space gardening in Mexico City
 
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The urban gardeners from Mexico City's Huerto Romita share their experiments in square foot gardening, DIY vertical gardens, permaculture, herb spirals, hydroponics, rainwater catchment, and vermicomposting. Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/experiments-in-small-space-gardening-in-mexico-city/
Views: 89049 Kirsten Dirksen
The magic of urban beekeeping: a backyard San Francisco hive
 
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Perhaps motivated by a drive to prop up the bee populations decimated by colony collapse disorder, beekeeping has become popular in cities worldwide. We visit one San Francisco beekeeper who keeps her hive in a Bernal Heights backyard where she escapes once a week to check on her colony. For Alexandra Danieli, beekeeping is part meditation and part fascination with a magical world of GPS, honing pheromones and group intelligence.
Views: 106706 Kirsten Dirksen
Thoreau's cabin redux: Jay Shafer on tiny homes and happiness
 
04:09
Founder of the Tiny Tumbleweed House Company, Jay Shafer, explains how his small home keeps him happier and how his lifestyle differs from Thoreau's 19th century simple life.
Views: 164214 Kirsten Dirksen
Seattle architect builds simple home inspired by own bio
 
11:26
Architect George Suyama wonders if his early years in a Japanese American internment camp led to his love for simplicity. “My theory is that we had nothing there so I became obsessed with little things. I was at a camp in Idaho called Minidoka and it was a tarpaper barracks. They were long shed buildings, I don’t know how many families lived in them, you had one window and a stove area and there were curtains that separated one family from another. Maybe because there was nothing there that I wanted to make everything as simple as I could.“ For five years, he and his wife lived in a tiny 500-square-foot fishing shack in West Seattle. When they bought the narrow lot next door, they wanted to recapture that simplicity. Determined not to remove a single tree, Suyama designed a home 18-feet-wide. To reduce the visual noise of the home the walls, roof, ceiling, floor are all one color (matching the surrounding trees). The only exception is a white box that runs nearly the length of the home which houses the service elements- kitchen, bathroom, stairs and bedroom- and a loft. http://www.suyamapetersondeguchi.com/d Original story: https://faircompanies.com/videos/seattle-architect-builds-simple-tiny-home-inspired-by-own-bio/
Views: 498401 Kirsten Dirksen
DIY home for less than $3500
 
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In a town where the median home price is over half a million dollars, Jenine Alexander decided to build her own. Using resources like the tiny house blogs and the 1950 bestselling DIY book "Your Dream Home: How to Build It for Less Than $3,500" (a gift from a friend), Jenine spent less than $3,500 on her home. In fact, she used nearly only materials recovered from the dump or found on craigslist and the only things she paid for were a used trailer and fasteners (nails, screws, hinges, etc). She built it on wheels not just to get around minimum size standards, but mostly because she couldn't afford land in her hometown of Healdsburg, California. More info in original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/diy-home-for-less-than-3500/ Jenine's blog: http://www.forgeahead.org/Productions/Home.html
Views: 2589210 Kirsten Dirksen
Dan Phillips turns backyard scraps into whimsical Texan houses
 
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Transforming wine corks and bottle caps into flooring, cow bones into countertops, frame samples into ceilings and old deck boards into doors, Dan Phillips believes a second life is possible building refuse. His company, Phoenix Commotion, turns trash into homes, employs “unskilled” workers and creates shelter for low-income families, but it’s not a non-profit. Instead, Phillips is trying to show that there are many good reasons to reuse construction waste (estimated as high as 10-15% of the materials that go into a building) and provide a whimsical alternative to mobile homes or other affordable housing. With no formal training in architecture or construction, Phillips is a self-taught carpenter, plumber and electrician, but he has no problem complying with local building codes. “Every building code has a provision that alternative materials and strategies are allowable provided you fulfill the intent of the code. The only thing codes do is protect the public health and safety. So if there is nothing dangerous about it I can do whatever I want.” He estimates his home are 75 to 85 percent salvaged material. He employs 5 minimum-wage workers, but also requires the home’s eventual owner (usually single mothers) to work on their future shelter. Since founding Phoenix Commotion with his wife 20 years ago, Phillips and his ever-rotating crews have built dozens of homes in Huntsville, Texas for low-income families and artists. We visited his plumbed-and-wired treehouse home built in a bois d’arc tree (part of an artist’s compound with a 350-square-foot rental cottage and separate studio space), his “bone house” (made from donations from the “bone yards” of local ranchers) and his latest project, a home shaped like a cowboy boot. http://www.phoenixcommotion.com/ Original story: https://faircompanies.com/videos/dan-phillips-turns-backyard-scraps-in-whimsical-texan-houses/
Views: 273489 Kirsten Dirksen
Summer of (family) love: tiny home VW-roadtrip documentary trailer
 
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Full documentary (free): http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/summer-family-love-tiny-home-vw-roadtrip-documentary/ Last summer, life handed us a roadtrip: we had tiny homes to film along the West Coast and while we don't own a car, someone was selling our dream rig - a vintage Westfalia campervan - cheap on Craigslist. It was the ideal setup for filming stories across three states (California, Oregon, Washington), but, above all, this was a chance to find out what we really needed to live. Limiting ourselves to one backpack per person, our family of five moved into our 50-square-foot mobile home. We hit the road determined to cook all our own meals (propane stove & refrigerator included) and to create our home every night in a different location (RV parks not included). With no advanced reservations and only interviews to guide us, we visited the homes of regulars in the tiny house world, like Dee Williams (Olympia, WA), Tammy and Logan (Chico, CA) and Steve Sauer (DIY microapartment in Seattle, WA). We stopped at America's first tiny house hotel (Portland, OR), a treehouse "treesort" (Takilma, OR) and a surfer's roadside workshop and meditation space (milepost 24, Hwy 101, Seaside, OR). We explored forest bathing in old growth redwood groves and Olympic Peninsula rainforest/lakefront, pushed the limits of "freedom to roam" (the Swedish Allmansrätten), tested the reality of camping at Walmart, mingled with accidental pantheists and confronted our own philosophies of life when the essentials of life aren't taken for granted. Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/summer-family-love-van-trip-tiny-homes-on-west-coast/
Views: 58273 Kirsten Dirksen
Space-invading apartment: walk-thru shower & fridge-in-drawer
 
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John MacPeek has fond memories of living out of a suitcase when he first moved to Europe over 2 decades ago. "There's a real advantage to having everything you own that you can carry on your back at one point". So when he was looking to buy an apartment in Barcelona, he was ready to live in something compact where everything he owned was accounted for. When he first saw his new home, its size didn't bother him (about 25 square meters or 270 square feet) as much as its condition. It was an old storage room for the building's water tanks and it looked more like a storage room than anything habitable. MacPeek enlisted the help of architect Lola Domenech who insisted she'd take on the project if she could open up the apartment to the sea. He bought the "over-sized closet" and Domenech began plans to take down the main wall and replace it with a 6 meter long (20 foot long) folding glass door that allows in light and air to provide passive solar heating and cooling (the shutters can close it off completely in summer to prevent overheating). She also implemented space-saving ideas like a walk-through shower, a bedroom that becomes a lounge and a refrigerator in a drawer. Lola Domènech architect http://www.loladomenech.com/en/index.php More info on original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/space-saving-apartment-walk-thru-shower-fridge-in-drawer/
Views: 375611 Kirsten Dirksen
From Gotham to isolated, code & debt-free West Texas estate
 
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Seven years ago John Wells sold his heavily-mortgaged home in upstate New York and bought 40 acres in West Texas for $8000. The area (Brewster County) is so isolated there are no codes or zoning restrictions so Wells built his own tiny home (in 9 days with $1600) relying on his set-building experience. Not wanting to rely on outside labor, Wells has continued to build his own services: a solar shower, a basic composting toilet, a bike-powered washing machine, an Airstream guest house, and a huge greenhouse which also houses 4 shipping containers he hopes to convert to housing/office space. Wells named his homestead (now 40 acres, he bought a second 20 acres for $500) the Field Lab (short for “Southwest Texas Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living Field Laboratory”) and he likes to experiment with off-grid solutions: one of his latest is a more-powerful solar oven. http://thefieldlab.blogspot.com Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/from-gotham-to-isolated-codes-bt-free-west-texas-estate/
Views: 1733975 Kirsten Dirksen
Why end of growth can mean more happiness (Richard Heinberg)
 
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Richard Heinberg- whose latest book describes The End of Growth- isn't looking for when the recession will end and we'll get back to "normal". He believes our decades-long era of growth was based on aberrant set of conditions- namely cheap oil, but also cheap minerals, cheap food, etc- and that looking ahead, we need to prepare for a "new normal". The problem, according to Heinberg, is our natural resources just aren't so cheap and plentiful anymore, and he's not just talking about Peak Oil, Heinberg believes in Peak Everything (also the title of one of his books). Heinberg thinks for many, adjusting to a life where everything costs a bit more, could be very hard, but he also thinks the transition to a new normal might actually make life better. "Particularly in the Western industrialized countries we've gotten used to levels of consumption that are not only environmentally unsustainable, they also don't make us happy. They've in fact hollowed out our lives. We've given up things that actually do give us satisfaction and pleasure so that we can work more and more hours to get more and more money with which to buy more and more stuff- more flatscreen tvs, bigger SUVs, bigger houses and it's not making us happier. Well, guess what, it's possible to downsize, it's possible to use less, become more self sufficient, grow more of your own food, have chickens in your backyard and be a happier person." This is not all theoretical. In the backyard of the home Heinberg shares with his wife, Janet Barocco, the couple grow most of their food during the summer months (i.e. 25 fruit & nut trees, veggies, potatoes.. they're just lack grains), raise chickens for eggs, capture rainwater, bake with solar cookers and a solar food drier and secure energy with photovoltaic and solar hot water panels. Their backyard reflects Heinberg's vision for our "new normal" and it's full of experiments, like the slightly less than 120-square-foot cottage that was inspired by the Small Home Movement. It was built with the help of some of Heinberg's college students (in one of the nation's first sustainability classes) using recycled and natural materials (like lime plaster). Heinberg admits it's not a real tiny house experiment since they don't actually live in it- his wife uses it as a massage studio, he meditates there and sometimes it's used as a guest house (though that's hush hush due to permitting issues). But their tiny cottage points to the bigger point behind why a transition to a less resource intensive future could equal greater happiness. "Simplify. Pay less attention to all of the stuff in your life and pay more attention to what's really important. Maybe for you it's gardening, maybe for you it's painting or music. You know we all have stuff that gives us real pleasure and most of us find we have less and less time for that because we have to devote so much time to shopping, paying bills and driving from here to there and so on. Well, how about if we cut out some of that stuff and spend more time doing what really feeds us emotionally and spiritually and in some cases even nutritionally." Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/richard-heinberg-why-end-growth-means-more-happiness/
Views: 73930 Kirsten Dirksen
Westfalia campervan as minimal nomadic home in Santa Barbara
 
10:28
Last year Sam Jacquette was paying over $1100 a month in rent and working a job he didn’t enjoy to pay the bills. For his New Year’s resolution he vowed to stop doing things he didn’t enjoy so he quit his job (and found a new one with Airstream restorers HofArc), gave up his apartment and moved into his Westfalia campervan full time. “The beauty of living in Santa Barbara out of your vehicle is that for 90 dollars a year you get a pass. It’s a waterfront pass, basically it’s my beach condo,” explains Jacquette. His 1985 VW Westfalia (“Westy”) comes loaded with a two-burner propane stove, on-board water and sink, a refrigerator (which he’s replacing with a 12V fridge), 2 beds and tons of storage (including a mini-closet). For bathroom and showers he uses the gym. At night Jacquette pulls into the driveway of some good family friends and pops the top of his portable home. He sometimes shares the space with his girlfriend (he has found storage space for her pilates gear). He hopes one day to upgrade to an Airstream, but for now he’s happy with minimal mobile home. Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/westfalia-campervan-as-minimal-nomadic-home-in-santa-barbara/
Views: 554012 Kirsten Dirksen
A family bike: a bicycle built for 3 (plus 1)
 
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Boise's (Idaho) Kristin Smith wanted her 3 kids (all 6 years and under) to bike with her so to keep them in line she bikes around town on a triple, or triplet, bicycle. With the "plus one"- a tag along bike- added to the back, they can go for days without hopping in a car. Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/backyard-goats-for-fresh-organic-raw-milk-and-as-pets/
Views: 236464 Kirsten Dirksen