Open (Tiny) House

Last Thursday evening at UGArden’s Fall Festival, the tiny house was on display to the general public for the very first time. Over 300 people attended the festival and it seems like more than a third of them came into the tiny house at varying points through the night to check out the the inside and learn more. Everyone who stopped by and chatted with Alyssa and me was very interested in the house and the course itself, and nearly everyone had at least one question about the house, the course, the instructors, or us students. Questions ran the full gamut: Is this a class project? How much does it cost? Where will it end up? Who gets to live in it? People’s reactions and opinions were fully supportive of this endeavor, and I suspect there were quite a few people envious of us 13 students enrolled in this initial semester.

I’m fortunate to have volunteered my time that night because I now feel an even stronger commitment to the process, and through the open house event, we connected this class and the project to the UGA and Athens communities in truly meaningful ways. Many times throughout the night, I discussed with our guests the possibilities of tiny houses being deployed in addressing chronic homelessness, and people agreed that this could be one innovative remedy to the problem. Many people shared the sense that tiny houses represent a shift in traditional housing values and offer an interesting opportunity to critique and reconsider the millions of wasted square footage in modern homes in the US. People also appreciated the idea of using tiny houses as on-site residences for young farmers who are working on smaller, family-owned organic farms. It became very obvious to me that any questions about the viability or general support of the tiny house movement were resoundingly and affirmatively answered at the open house event.

Brian Holcombe  |  Anthropology Student