Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Use Cases:

+Laneway of a residential home:
-'Granny/Anita/Student Suite'
The individual(s) in the laneway house are somewhat associated with the host family. Perhaps they are family friends and the tiny house residents are students from out of town. There is some interaction between the two parties, and potentially lots of shared space and resource. Things like meals might be shared, potentially to the point where a full kitchen in the tiny house is not necessary.
-Unrelated residents
Separate lives, separate lifestyles. Focusing on increasing density in urban areas.

+Laneway of a business:
-Owner/proprietor of the business
Shopkeeper/Baker/Technician lives very close to their place of work. The tiny house is for personal life while the store is more public. A good way to differentiate the spaces of one's life.

-Temporary workers
A space used by transient/seasonal workers. Easier to lock up a small house than to reduce the use of a large one? Again this allows easy access to a place of work, and would be beneficial to early or multi-shift location-based work.

+Community of small houses
-Along a back ally (aka. laneway)
There are multiple tiny houses opening up onto a single laneway. They share responsibility for looking after the lane. Shared lifestyles might be appropriate, and there could perhaps be communal cooking or other activities. This communal space could build on the ideas we were discussing about how to break down the barrier between 'indoors' and 'outdoors'... elders sitting on the porch (in the greenhouse) watching children play games up and down the ally anyone?

-All together now
Pack the tiny houses in like sardines in a tin. Perhaps they are even built as a set of tiny apartments. This might help reduce heating costs and building materials. Built for density. Could we make stackable tiny houses?

* Can we get some sketchups of the entire lot?

On the wiki:


  1. So glad you asked!
    (sketchups of lot)
    working with something related, with linus and pat. more notes soon:)

  2. Related to this, and I realize that this suggestion leads to all sorts of mission creep so feel free to file this one away for a year or two later, but: What about green landscaping?

    The economies of population density may contradict the desire for a garden, for instance. Obviously some landscaping issues are geography specific, but looking at the trade-offs of public transit and closeness to commerce weighed off against the needs that the occupants may have for land seems like it's worth something.

  3. Dan: I think the reasonable extent of our specific planning can only extend to the house itself, which slight modifications to the surrounding area. This limitation being based off of the current target of laneway housing which will most likely be on an existing home property or on a very small portion of an existing property that has been bought off the original owners.
    That being said, we´d welcome any comments on the topic, even if they are just speculative, for future reference or so we can build a context to suggest to follow up projects.

  4. Definitely one of the things we're considering seriously is green roofing, and to what extent that can provide some nourishment. Obviously weight and depth of soil are considerations here.

    We're also designing a greenwall which will be used as part of the passive heating and cooling system of the home. This is likely a better location for some food-plants to live.

    Other thoughts we've had on the topic of food- is this one of the things we could expect people to collaborate on? Can we get them to leave their home and expend energy? Getting the house user to participate in community gardening, to encourage fruit trees in cities, and to support CSAs are all things that we've discussed.

  5. Scott, thanks, I'm coming up to speed here. Zack has given me posting privileges, but I'm still feeling out who the group is and how best to participate and contribute.

    Rachel, one of the things I struggled with when we recently bought a house was the tension between knowing that the greenest thing we could do was to get a condo in the middle of the city, but that our sanity demanded a bit more space from people. As we start to actually use our yard as a garden, I realize that the consciousness of understanding what's going in to our food production is spilling over into our purchasing of food from others in a way that condo living would never have brought us.

    So, yeah, I think a huge part of architecture and design is framing how we feel like we fit into our community and world, and I've got no answers here, but I do have questions.

  6. *nods* absolutely. That's one of the things we're thinking about as far as design is concerned- what things can we get people involved with that will alter their perspective on modern consumption, and the modern food-chain.

    We're looking into other things that might be affected in this way- eg, would it be prudent to design a house that really needs no furniture to be brought in, and would force the user to rid themselves of possessions? What about having a group of houses, each of them growing a monoculture, thus forcing them to trade with neighbors? Any other ideas?