Videos uploaded by user “Kirsten Dirksen”
Lego-style apartment transforms into infinite spaces
Christian's hotel inspired by LEGO flat: https://youtu.be/MvJfN9jTS5s 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: 30608719 Kirsten Dirksen
A tiny home tour: Jay Shafer's 89-square-foot home on wheels
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: 2046441 Kirsten Dirksen
Mortgage-free, tiny home on a housekeeper's salary
Johnny Sanphillippo has never made more than $20,000 per year (he works as a housekeeper, as well as, a gardener and house painter), but he knew like "any other American" that he wanted to own his own home. When he talked to bankers about qualifying for a home loan, "they look at you and their eyes glaze over and you realize, they're going to give me a lollipop and send me home, which is pretty much what happened". So he decided that if he went far enough away from his hometown of San Francisco he could find something he could afford to buy with cash. He finally heard about a deal in Hawaii (back when oil was cheap and airline tickets were $99 from SFO) and for $3000 cash he bought himself an empty lot in a failed subdivision on the Big Island. Without a loan, he knew he couldn't afford to build a conventional home. He'd always loved tiny houses, but the permitting office wasn't as enthusiastic about allowing him to build small. So he had plans drawn up for a conventionally-sized home, plus a 400 square foot garage. He just built the garage. Once the inspectors signed off on his fully-equipped garage (which included a bathroom, utility sink, electricity, septic system and rainwater capture), he let them know he wasn't planning on building the house. Then he set about swapping the garage door for sliding glass and the utility sink for a regular kitchen. Instead of relying on a loan to buy a house up-front, he had to do it the slow way, in stops and starts as he worked to pay off he step of the process. First, he saved up for a foundation, then the shell, then septic, etcetera and today, 13 years later, the home is complete. Johnny Sanphillippo's blog: http://granolashotgun.com/ Original story & more info: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/mortgage-free-tiny-home-on-a-housekeepers-salary/
Views: 1367821 Kirsten Dirksen
Un mini-apartamento que se transforma en infinitos espacios
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: 9271497 Kirsten Dirksen
Backyard farmers by necessity: self-sufficient & debt-free
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: 541057 Kirsten Dirksen
Passive solar glass home: feng shui in North Carolina
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: 72351 Kirsten Dirksen
Thoreauvian simple living: unelectrified, timeless tiny home
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: 1467111 Kirsten Dirksen
California DIY, shipping container tiny home and a cargo trailer bedroom
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: 12135513 Kirsten Dirksen
Nebraska retiree uses earths's heat to grow oranges in snow
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". https://greenhouseinthesnow.com/ https://faircompanies.com/videos/nebraska-retiree-uses-earthss-energy-to-grow-oranges-in-nebraska-cold/
Views: 1130340 Kirsten Dirksen
Space saving furniture that transforms 1 room into 2 or 3
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: 5529891 Kirsten Dirksen
Oldest US mall blends old/modern with 225-sq-ft micro lofts
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: 4750669 Kirsten Dirksen
Big Easy's shotgun: cross-ventilated narrow houses stay cool
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: 125484 Kirsten Dirksen
Tiny matchbox apartment hides closet & bathtub in drawers
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: 2121318 Kirsten Dirksen
Raw sauerkraut: a fermented, probiotic superfood
"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: 72452 Kirsten Dirksen
Earth-cooled, shipping container underground CA home for 30K
As a kid Steve Rees played in caves and learned how the earth could cool. As an adult, he buried two shipping containers and created an off-grid retirement home for himself and his wife Shirley. After a few years of camping on their 10 acre plot in Northern California, they bought two shipping containers, hired an excavator and got to work. Doing most of the work themselves, their finished home cost them $30,000 (solar included). Their 640-square-foot space cost them less than $50 per square foot. Rees explains that while this is less than conventional construction costs, the savings only begin with construction. With a solar-powered well, a bit of propane and solar tubes for most of their light, they haven’t had any city water or electric bills since 2002. Winter temperatures in their home (even during 20 degrees outside) never fall below 62 degrees (an RV catalytic heater is sufficient for heating). Even when the temperature rises to 110 outside in the summer, their home has never risen above 82 degrees. When they asked the county about permitting they were told they “didn’t have a permit for burying containers”. They have been inspected since completing their home and they have a permitted septic system and a permitted well, just no permit for a single family dwelling. Steve Rees book: “Off Grid and Underground" http://www.amazon.com/Off-Grid-Underground-Simpler-Live/dp/1493798510 Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/earth-cooled-shipping-container-underground-ca-home-for-30k/ Steve has agreed to field questions at [email protected]
Views: 1848058 Kirsten Dirksen
Tiny, portable, prefab cube shelters in medieval French town
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: 415637 Kirsten Dirksen
"Mountain man" home from scrap material on Idaho farm
"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: 199152 Kirsten Dirksen
Extreme transformer home in Hong Kong: Gary Chang's 24 rooms in 1
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: 1338774 Kirsten Dirksen
Backyard aquaponics: DIY system to farm fish with vegetables
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: 1870636 Kirsten Dirksen
Couple's own Paris-Dakar using Land Rover transformer-camper
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: 1037389 Kirsten Dirksen
Austin coder builds timeless cob home using precise patterns
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: 406132 Kirsten Dirksen
Artist builds his Savannah studio with shipping containers
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: 1515581 Kirsten Dirksen
Amaranth: a superfood for the backyard gardener
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: 89043 Kirsten Dirksen
Soil-less sky farming: rooftop hydroponics on NYC restaurant
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: 265957 Kirsten Dirksen
You can't eat grass: an edible yard, 9 months later
Nine months after Patty Silva-Hicks tore out her front lawn to plant fruit trees and produce, she shows us how her garden grows. She's eating her yard (cherries, plums, avocado and chard), but it's also surprisingly attractive with touches like lettuce and pepper hedgerows. Original story from 2009: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/swapping-lawn-for-fruit-because-you-cant-eat-grass/
Views: 87897 Kirsten Dirksen
DIY-crafted Seattle micro apartment: 8 spaces stacked in 182 sq ft
Ten years ago Steve Sauer was looking for a place to keep some stuff. When he found a subterranean storage unit in the basement of a century-old Seattle coop, he quickly realized it had potential as a living quarters. Drawing on his expertise as a designer of airplane interiors (at Boeing), he began to sketch a home that could fit within 182 square feet. "When I first started designing this thing, I was thinking bicycle messenger, 22 year old bicycle messenger with 8 pieces of clothing and almost nothing else just living in the city." Stacking functions Sauer's "pico dwelling" (pico is 1/trillionth) isn't about sacrifice. He's managed to fit about 8 different useful spaces into the micro apartment by stacking functions. A cafe area (complete with Eames chair) is stacked on top of a video lounge (with 37-inch TV). One floor up on the adjacent wall, a bed(room) is lofted above a walk-in closet/ office. The main floor space fits a transforming table (that folds down from a cable to seat 6) and a 3-foot-deep Japanese-style soaking tub hidden below the entryway. The kitchen backs onto a bathroom which serves as the platform for a guest bed(room). There's also storage for 2 bikes (a pull-up bar doubles as a bike holder) and steps that double as benches. More quality, less space "I drive a Smart car and I like pushing the limit to see what I can do with the smallest kind of thing in all ways. I guess being an engineer I like pushing efficiency kind of limits all over the place because it's just interesting to me." Sauer appreciates simplicity, but his main interest in small spaces is a desire for high quality and control over his environment. "Typically cost considerations are the driver for small spaces, but that wasn't at all my primary interest. I wanted higher quality than I could afford at normal size and so by compressing myself I could get high quality materials and also by building it all myself I saved that money as well." Maker built: DIY machining and IKEA hacks Sauer spent thousands of hours in materials research and settled on the exotic (i.e. German faucets and Brazilian Walnut flooring) to the mundane, using IKEA as a materials resource. His hacked IKEA projects include: cut-up shelves and tabletop serve as the frame for kitchen drawers; bed slats are both floor for the guest bed and a countertop has become floor to his cafe level; and in the kitchen, "Ikea hardwood shelving for drawer boxes, a table-top for drawer fronts, countertop planks for framing, and heavy duty drawer glides." Standing beneath a former-table-top-glass-turned-translucent-bathroom-ceiling (also the guest bed floor, covered by bed slats), Sauer explains, "This would cost a fortune if I ordered it custom and it's only a couple of hundred from IKEA with a whole table so IKEA really comes to the rescue with some of these things as materials supply." Nearly every piece of furniture or appliance reveals some mix of Sauer's DIY tinkering. The bathroom sink is a mix of "floor wood as a deck, Ikea shelf brackets, a glass vessel sink, and satin-finish pipery". Bathroom towel racks that were too expensive to purchase were replicated via "desperate acts of machining stainless steel" (an earlier iteration used boat-part stanchions). His soap/shampoo shelving was constructed from stainless steel kitchen containers fitted into a laser-cut panel. A bike shifter mechanism became part of a showerhead. 3form plastic products serve as both a cover for his soaking tub (1" Chroma) that is strong enough to double as a floor, and a semi-translucent wall between the bathroom and kitchen (1/4" Varia Ecoresin). Sauer doesn't have formal construction training, but he is a self-taught practitioner of all the residential construction trades, holds a master's degree in whole systems design, and has a little workshop that includes a lathe (an Atlas 6" metal lathe) from his father that was resurrected for extensive custom machining. A pico development? The final project shows off Sauer's dedication to quality and custom finishes and it was a labor of love. It took 7 years to complete and 2 years to get permitted. Today, Sauer has the permits and a certificate of occupancy for his tiny home and he would love to take what he's learned and create an entire building of high-end micro apartments. Steve Sauer- http://www.oixio.com/ More info on original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/diy-crafted-seattle-micro-apartment-8-spaces-in-182-sq-ft/
Views: 1846572 Kirsten Dirksen
Future soda? Micro-fermented, probiotic, water kefir brew
It's a 3000-year-old soda that is popular again. Water kefir is a natural ferment that was likely first discovered by shepherds who had led their animal to drink in high mountain springs in the Caucasus Mountains. "The newfangledness of it is really that we've lost our culture in America. This is only newfangled to people that don't have access or a lineage that they're bringing forward of live culture fermenting of food," explains Tom Boyd. Boyd, along with partners Jeffrey Edelheit and Deana Dennard, ferment their live beverages in what they call "the only kefir based microbrewery", a tiny shop in Sebastapol, California called the Kefiry. They use kefir grains (which aren't really grains, but bacteria and yeast that turn sugars into carbonation) to create their "enlivened" beverages that contain much less sugar than conventional sodas. Like sourdough starters, kefir grains need to be kept alive and can be shared with others, but no one has been able to create them in a laboratory. Kefir starters, or tibicos, have been used around the world for centuries and while no two strain of culture is the same, the names are different worldwide: "Tibicos is also known as tibi, water kefir grains, sugar kefir grains, Japanese water crystals and California bees, and in older literature as bébées, African bees, ale nuts, Australian bees, balm of Gilead, beer seeds, beer plant, bees, ginger bees, Japanese beer seeds and vinegar bees." (wikipedia) Water kefir, like other live cultured foods (from sourdough to sauerkraut), have a following of people interested in probiotics and cultivating a healthy flora in their digestive system, though Boyd argues all of us should be focused on cultivating wellness (instead of simply relying on the medical community). "All of these live culture techniques are ways to preserve and enhance the bio-availabilty of the nutrients in foods. So that's what this movement is about is bringing the live culture back so the foods can be more healthy, more wellness-providing like they're supposed to be." The Kefiry: http://thekefiry.com/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/future-soda-micro-fermented-probiotic-water-kefir-brew/
Views: 137385 Kirsten Dirksen
Raw milk: Idaho ranchers on why not to pasteurize
In 1987 the FDA banned interstate shipping of raw milk and today it's retail sale is only legal in dozen or so states. There's a very devoted group who believe that pasteurized milk is "dead milk" and are fighting to make it easier to buy. Raw milk has such a following that people form secret clubs or buy portions of a cow in order to circumvent state laws regulating its sale. In March of 2010, Idaho made things just a bit easier for producers of raw milk. A small-herd exemption was passed that allowed farmers with 7 or fewer goats or sheep and 3 or fewer cows to produce raw milk or raw milk products for human consumption. Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/the-case-for-raw-milk-vs-cardboard-cow/ In this video, the folks at Bellevue Idaho's Cottonwood Ranch milk their small herd and explain why they think that pasteurization "spoils the taste" and "changes the contents into stuff that you may or may not be able to use." Or as 30-year-old Eric Barney explains, why "the bought milk" tastes like "cardboard cow".
Views: 53943 Kirsten Dirksen
Forsaken Joshua Tree hut becomes off-grid folly for stargazing
When Malek Alqadi and Hillary Flur first drove down the dirt road in Joshua Tree and saw the collapsing homestead cabin surrounded by open space, they knew it was the spot to build their off-grid smart cabin. The Folly Cabin is reference to the the often useless buildings built in 19th century Europe on large expanses of land. “I adapted a new filter of what a millennial’s take would be like on a folly”, explains Alqadi “making it a smart, sufficient, self-sustainable prototype for future building, current buildings and doing it on a small scale so people can grasp the concept of what off-grid is.” The Folly Cabin was built using the foundation of the original homesteader’s cabin (from 1863 to 1977, homesteaders could claim 16O-acre parcels in the Mojave Desert). The small space now includes a living/dining space, sleeping loft, kitchenette, toilet and shower with an indoor boulder and glass wall to bring the outdoors in. For additional sleeping space, they built a separate stargazing loft with no ceiling, accessible only by an outdoor metal ladder and served by an open-air bathtub made from a galvanized metal tank normally used for livestock feed. https://thecohesionstudio.com/ *faircompanies: https://faircompanies.com/videos/abandoned-homestead-cabin-now-smart-off-grid-vacation-home/
Views: 190617 Kirsten Dirksen
$150 bike camper: DIY micro mobile home (downloadable plans)
Paul Elkins fell for micro-camping in 2002 when he toured the country in his cabover “stealth camper”. Sure he could make something more affordable, this year he began building a nomadic micro-shelter based on the Airstream design. [Downloadable plans: http://www.elkinsdiy.com/plans/ ] Using 4 recycled fluted-plastic campaign signs from a recent election, a $20 secondhand bike, 6 pine boards ($1 at Home Depot), screws, Duct tape and zip ties, he built his latest micro mobile shelter for only $150. Calling it a “micro Airstream bike camper”, it’s a 60-pound “home away from home”, complete with butane stove, bread-pan sink, counter, food storage shelving, clothes-storage bins, LED lighting, bed, windows, pee jug, bubble insulation, stereo with MP3 player, and a skylight made out of a 1 gallon plastic tub. Our mini-doc with Paul: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1tV-ovGPyc More of Paul's videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/paulwelkins Mini Airstream bike camper: http://www.elkinsdiy.com/mobile-shelters/micro-airstream-bike-camper/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/150-bike-camper-diy-micro-mobile-home-downloadable-plans/
Views: 10217006 Kirsten Dirksen
Medieval Spanish ghost town becomes self-sufficient ecovillage
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: 758620 Kirsten Dirksen
House as membrane: blends with garden & protects from street
When a Yokohama couple asked architect Takeshi Hosaka to design a home “in which we feel as if we are outdoors”, Hosaka took a triangular lot and used the geometry to trap a garden inside each room. All of Hosaka’s designs play with the idea of homes as separate from nature: his “Inside Out” leaves everything open for a couple and their 2 cats; and his own “Love House” dances with the indoor tree that dwarfs the tiny space. His “Garden House”, designed for a Tokyo advertising executive seeking a home as refuge, is more of a membrane than a home; it’s highly porous with the garden and nearly impermeable to the street. Other stories with Hosaka's work: - Yokohama narrow tiny house breathes, attracts local nature http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/yokohama-narrow-tiny-house-breaths-attracts-local-nature/ - Lolcat home Japan: old parking becomes loft for couple, cats http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/lolcat-home-japan-old-parking-becomes-loft-for-couple-cats/ Takeshi Hosaka: http://www.hosakatakeshi.com/index_en.html Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/house-as-membrane-blends-with-garden-protects-from-street/
Views: 119324 Kirsten Dirksen
How to choose a natural building material (i.e. cob or straw or a mix)
You may find cob cottages particularly cute, but taste isn't reason enough to choose one natural building material over another. Like more manufactured products, different earth materials all have different uses: straw bale is a great insulator, cob is a nice thermal sink as well as one of the easiest materials to sculpt if you're looking for lots of curves in your structure. Since different parts of the building need to do different tasks, even in the same building you might choose straw bale for one wall and cob for another. Natural building expert Michael G. Smith shows us some of the uses for straw bale, cob, slip straw and clay wattle (a variation on wattle and daub) in the homes and buildings of Boonville, California's Emerald Earth Sanctuary. Original content here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/natural-building-materials-straw-sticks-clay-or-a-mix/
Views: 186601 Kirsten Dirksen
Salvaged tiny homestudios: tin can siding, paper bag wallpaper
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: 947465 Kirsten Dirksen
Rust Belt rebirth: a $17,500 Cincinnati old home renewal
It’s become difficult to afford urban living in places like San Francisco, New York or even Portland, but there is an alternative. In Rust Belt cities like Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Cincinnati, you can buy or rent for about 1/10th the price. “They’re all much better than people in California imagine,” blog Johnny Sanphillippo who has spent significant time interviewing people in this part of the country. “I’m a huge fan of the city of Cincinnati. I love the magnificent architecture, the cool people, and the gorgeous natural beauty that surrounds the city. And I’m incredibly excited that many of the best historic neighborhoods are beginning to come back to life after a fifty year slumber brought on by middle class exodus to the suburbs, deindustrialization, and general neglect. There’s a serious pent up market demand for vibrant, mixed use, walkable neighborhoods all across the country with shockingly little supply. We just haven’t built places like this since World War II and there’s a hunger for it in the real estate market.” In this video, Sanphillippo visits Mike Uhlenhake who bought his historic row house in the now-trendy Over-The-Rhine neighborhood for $17,500 (it was a burnt out shell on the “condemned list”). He fixed it up himself for a grand total of $90,000. Today he lives upstairs with a roommate and rents out the bottom floor for extra income. Filmed by Johnny Sanphillippo of granolashotgun.com
Views: 347065 Kirsten Dirksen
Tiny open house: Jay Shafer's 120-square-foot modular wee home
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: 163363 Kirsten Dirksen
Before: 19th Century $1-building; Now: luxury house/pizzeria
In 1850, Cincinnati was the second densest city in the country, but in the last century as residents began their flight to the suburbs neighborhoods lost population and in some spots buildings were abandoned. Walnut Hills was once considered Cincinnati’s second downtown, but in the last century the area fell on hard times. When the historic firehouse burnt down in 1977, it was left to crumble for over 3 decades. A couple years ago developer Kent Hardman bought the building from the city for $1. Hardman spent heavily to bring the building back to life- it’s now his loft apartment upstairs and a pizzeria downstairs- and he says he’ll only “break even” with his investment, but he’s more interested in helping turn the entire neighborhood around. He invested in the building next door and vacant buildings across the street and hopes that traffic to the pizza parlor will bring some life back to these blocks. Johnny Sanphillippo of http://granolashotgun.com filmed this story. On his blog, he writes about shoestring pre-vitalization: "a new generation is now beginning to rediscover neighborhoods like Walnut Hills and the city of Cincinnati understands that market demand is aligned with the existing building stock and historic urban fabric. " Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/before-19th-century-1-building-now-luxury-housepizzeria/
Views: 1341236 Kirsten Dirksen
Maison garage: old parking as tiny home in Bordeaux, France
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: 2805418 Kirsten Dirksen
Brooklyn crafted, impermanent house gets wiser with owner
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: 291123 Kirsten Dirksen
Lloyd Kahn on his NorCal self-reliant half-acre homestead
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: 750645 Kirsten Dirksen
Simple life Manhattan: a 90-square-foot microstudio
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: 21574399 Kirsten Dirksen
Tokyo's impermanent skinny house made to age well with owners
Inheritance taxes on land in Japan means plots often get smaller as they are passed on. This “divide and sell” phenomenon in Tokyo translates into some very tiny home sites. When architects Masahiro and Mao Harada were tasked with creating a home on a lot only 2 meters (6.5 feet) wide at its narrowest point, they chose to interpret small as “near” and use the small scale to their advantage. On the narrowest portion of the lot, along the street, they created a “gatehouse”: used as both an entryway and offices for the clients. The lower level is a gallery for the wife’s art, which is mostly, appropriately, very tiny objects. The second floor, accessible only by a small, wooden ladder, houses the husband’s office with walls lined with books and movies (he directs commercial). Everything in the Gatehouse is within touching distance, and this is important, and a positive thing. Masahiro calls this type of design “peach skin”. “The nearness between the materials and my eye make clear the very small grains, like a peach skin, so the resolution is richer. When you see big things from a distance you can miss details.” Behind the Gatehouse, the lot opens up a bit to accommodate the rest of the home. To comply with building codes limiting home height, the Haradas chose to build the home a few feet underground. Again, they chose to see this as an advantage, allowing for a partly submerged bedroom and bathroom, that allow one to feel “like an animal” while having a bath in the ground or “like an insect” when lying on the bed, at eye level with the plants. After the small, intimate room downstairs the completely open, and high-ceilinged, upstairs feels large. Here one wall is dedicated to a kitchen (partly camouflaged behind tan doors and cabinets) and the other to a full-wall bookshelf which is also structural. Masahiro explains the benefits of using vertical shelf supports that are narrow and very close to each other: the material is cheap; it can be brought in by hand; and it can be created without heavy equipment and instead, by skilled craftspeople. For the interior finish on both the walls and the floors, they used MDF (medium-density fiberboard) both because it is very affordable, but also because it resembles the paper walls in traditional Japanese homes. “Here we use paper and wooden materials and everything can return to the earth, so the time scale is near, or small,” explains Masahiro. “We are always thinking about scale. Scale isn’t just big or small. Scale is also time. This building has a permanent quality, but it also feels ephemeral. This house lives with people, and dies with people, and that’s a good thing.” Mount Fuji Architects: http://fuji-studio.jp/ Original story: https://faircompanies.com/videos/tokyos-impermanent-skinny-house-made-to-age-well-with-owners/
Views: 4017771 Kirsten Dirksen
Urban self-reliance: homestead in Oakland's small rented lot
Sheila Cassani began farming her rental home while a college student. She started with a small vegetable patch, but it soon spread to keeping chickens and bees and planting produce on nearly every available patch of the small yard not dedicated to the poultry. Cassani and her partner Matthew wake up at the crack of dawn to let the chickens go free-range, but she says the garden isn’t a lot of work once you’ve put in the initial investment. Since they're renting they've trying to keep their investments low. They focused on reusing found materials, such as old fence to make raised beds, bamboo that grows on the property for trellises and chicken fencing (even indoors, their furniture was mostly found, including a pallet wood sofa). They’ve dubbed their East Oakland (California) homestead the “Kansas Street Farm” and they try to keep things as closed loop as possible by catching rainwater, composting, using the chickens to prepare the veggie beds and fermenting leftover produce. Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/urban-self-reliance-homestead-in-oaklands-small-rented-lot/
Views: 334365 Kirsten Dirksen
Skinny house in LA: affordable, minimal, modern home/office
Simon Storey wanted to buy an affordable home so he bought the smallest and cheapest thing on the market. It was just 350 square feet and Storey wanted to fit both his home and office there so he requested special planning permission to double the height. He has now squeezed 960 square feet on his 780 square foot lot (garage included) and has one of Los Angeles' skinniest homes. Storey calls it the Eel's Nest in reference to the super narrow lots in Japan (between 5 and 15 feet). Storey kept the design a simple stack of boxes that reach the property line on three sides. Inside, he left it as open as possible, using small tricks to maximize space, like a sunken kitchen (that helps to define spaces) and floating stairs (that double as a light well). Most of the furniture was hand-crafted by Storey, including wooden speakers. He has plans to outfit his dining table with wheels so he can make space for dinner parties by wheeling it out to his small backyard deck. Cameraman Johnny Sanphillippo also films for the site Strong Towns: http://www.strongtowns.org/ More from Simon, including roof photos: http://anonymousarchitects.com/ArchProjects/project_MM-1.htm Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/skinny-house-in-la-affordable-minimal-modern-homeoffice/
Views: 692233 Kirsten Dirksen
Paris micro-apartment stacks kitchen, bed, bath in 129 sq ft
When architect Julie Nabucet was asked to fit the rooms of a full-sized apartment in a 129-square-foot (12 m2) flat in the center of Paris (Montorgueil quarter), she stacked functions: she elevated the kitchen and rolled a bed-slash-sofa underneath (pulled out halfway, it's a couch; pulled out fully, it's a bed). To separate the cooking area from the sleeping/living room she used plywood boxes stacked as a wall. The boxes facing the kitchen are used as cabinets; those facing the bedroom are used as bookshelves. In the two-square-meter bathroom (21-square-feet), she squeezed an "Italian shower" (wet bath). There wasn't enough space for a sink so she placed this outside the bathroom. To separate it from the kitchen she created a wooden netting that gives a sense of isolation, but allows light to pass through. http://www.julienabucet.com/projets/mini-studio-et-pans-de-bois/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/paris-micro-apartment-stacks-kitchen-bed-bath-in-129-sq-ft/
Views: 5374516 Kirsten Dirksen
How to build a straw bale wall
Bales of straw may seem a bit simple, but they're very effective for building a home. They're also great insulation, offering R2 per inch thickness of the wall. Michael G. Smith shows us the straw bale wall they're building at Mendocino County's (California) Emerald Earth Sanctuary. Original content here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/how-to-build-a-straw-bale-wall/
Views: 188253 Kirsten Dirksen
Tiny Origami apartment in Manhattan unfolds into 4 rooms
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: 4858019 Kirsten Dirksen
Family home in converted streetcars, DIY treehouse & cob huts
Over a decade ago, Claudine Désirée was raising 3 young boys alone in a one bedroom home built from old streetcars (from 1920s Santa Cruz). At first the boys slept in the bedroom and she slept in the living room, but as her boys grew they needed more space. For Désirée, learning to build with cob (at a natural building workshop) was the answer to the family's shortage of square footage. "I fell in love with cob because I don't have the patience to 'everything has to be like this and the rules and at this angle and we have to measure it and the codes'. I'm more into let's just do it". First, Désirée built an 80-square-foot cob shelter as a bedroom for one of her sons in an unused corner of the backyard. Later, she built a larger bedroom for herself in another corner. Both structures cost more in time than the minimal materials cost. "I have two beautiful studios.. each one cost 500 dollars or something to build and if they were built with conventional materials they would have cost 5 thousand or 10 thousand". Another workshop- this one focused on treehouse building- provided the start for a bedroom in an Oak tree for her eldest son. A carpenter helped finish it off as a fully-enclosed room that he called the Lorax Lodge. When her son moved out, she started renting it out as a vacation rental on Airbnb. It brought in $11,000 in annual income, until she applied for a parking permit for one longer-term renter and "stupidly", as she explains, wrote that she was renting out the treehouse. The city sent her a notice that she was violating codes and she was forced to alter the treehouse so it can't be lived in, as well as pay a fine and the hotel taxes for using it as a rental. Now that her kids are grown Désirée is selling her urban homestead- all the structures plus chickens, fruit trees and a recycled barrel sauna- so she can travel the world and help others build with cob and create eco-villages. Cruzin' cob- for sale: http://www.cruzincob.com/cruzincob.com/FOR_SALE%21%21%21%21.html Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/family-home-in-converted-streetcar-diy-treehouse-cob-huts/
Views: 367253 Kirsten Dirksen
Micro-homesteading in WA with 10K microhome (84 sq ft) in friends' yard
Dee Williams used to live in a 2,000-square-foot, 3-bedroom home. Then she traveled to Guatelama (to help build a schoolhouse) and when she came home her house felt too big so built herself a home that fit. That turned out to be a 84-square-foot foot home on wheels that cost her $10,000: $5000 for the materials (mostly salvaged) and the other half for the solar panels and low-E (low thermals emissivity) windows. She spent 3 months building her new home in Portland, Oregon and then hitched it to her truck and parked it in the backyard of her good friends Hugh and Annie in Olympia, Washington. For the first 7 years she moved in and out (removing the back fence), but for the past two years her wheels haven't moved. Annie describes their setup, half-jokingly as a "compound", which also includes a sauna (built by Dee) and until a few months ago, included Hugh's Aunt Rita who lived in "the big house" and Dee helped care for (incidentally, Dee's home is permitted as a caregiver's cottage, though Aunt Rita died this spring so now she's only allowed to "recreate" in her tiny house). When she moved into her 7x12 foot home back in 2004, Dee got rid of not just a $1000/month mortgage, but most of her stuff. She admits it's not easy to keep things to a minimum- "creep happens"-, but it's a constant process. "I was engaged to be married and I kept the wedding announcement for decades and finally I was like I know that happened I think I can let it go in writing. After awhile it's okay to let some of that stuff go and to trust that there are things that you hold inside you that are actually a lot more meaningful.. than the photo or piece of paper." Today, Dee helps design and build tiny homes for her company PAD (Portland Alternative Dwellings) where they "encourage people to design things that fit their bodies": instead of obsessing over square footage (their designs run from 70 to 136 square feet), "all of a sudden you can let your body be the tape measure". Portland Alternative Dwellings: http://padtinyhouses.com/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/micro-homesteading-in-wa-with-10k-microhome-in-friends-yard/
Views: 2755543 Kirsten Dirksen
A mudbrick home built with help from family and friends
Earth building- mudbrick, adobe, cob, PISE, rammed earth- is a great way to build in climate control into your home. It's also something that you can do yourself. Here one family in Melbourne, Australia talks about making their own mudbricks with a little help from their weekend football team. [Note: Graeme Ellis is a builder.] Original content here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/the-ultimate-earth-friendly-building-material-mud/
Views: 24710 Kirsten Dirksen

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