Published on December 1st, 2020 |
by Kurt Lowder
December 1st, 2020 by Kurt Lowder
Even prior to covid-19, ridiculous housing prices had caused a torrent of homelessness across the United States. Now, homelessness is growing even worse, particularly in California, where decent weather makes being homeless slightly more tolerable.
Tents work well enough in the summer, but they become cumbersome and dangerous in the winter rain. Thankfully, Santa Cruz and many other cities are allowing people to shelter in place. Long-term solutions to homelessness are few and far between, though. Accordingly, creative minds are continually working on short-term solutions. Environmental and human activist Alekz Londos of Santa Cruz, California, is one such brilliant and caring mind.
Alekz has drawn inspiration from the Tesla Cybertruck to create a MicroTiny home. More accurately, both the Cybertruck and the MicroTiny home have drawn inspiration from the first principles of science, economics, and building/manufacturing techniques. The MicroTiny home is designed primarily with efficiency and ease of construction in mind. It is built from sustainable wood.
When I first began conversing with Alekz Londos, I mentioned that I hoped the MicroTiny home would be so easy to build that my wife or my middle school students could do it with a little assistance. Thankfully, he had come to the same conclusion. To begin with, this early model prototype is built with a combination of sustainable and reclaimed lumber, which keeps CO2 out of the atmosphere. It could be built from a variety of sustainable materials, but first principles dictate just about anyone can learn to build with old fashioned lumber. Sometimes prosaic is just the way to go.
The shape of the Micro Tiny Home looks like the backend of a Tesla Cybertruck for several reasons. First and foremost is heating efficiency. The less volume, the warmer the Micro Tiny Home will be. If it was just a rectangular box, then it would be cooler and it would take more material and therefore cost more to build.
The prototype will be painted silver for aesthetics — and because it is wicked cool that it looks like a Tesla Cybertruck. Additionally, the silver helps it blend into the city landscape. The goal is for it to be attractive and not an eyesore that curmudgeons can complain about.
The sloping roof, of course, helps rain drain off and provides a perfect mount for a solar panel. The Micro Tiny Home is small and light enough to be pulled by a bicycle. Of course, while it is not perfectly aerodynamic, it is much better than a box.
More details on the project are coming soon. A GoFundMe has been set up, and enough has already been donated to finish the first one. We are hoping to build several more. Moreover, we plan to change and improve the design over time. We will do our best to document the process so that others can easily duplicate what Alex has created. The long-term goal is to have an annual design competition.
This is a collaborative process and we are hoping to get as many people involved as we can. Do you want to build one? Do you have interesting ideas you would like to share? Then get active in the comment section! Think about what you can bring to the table. Maybe you could help with outreach, getting sponsors, coordinating with city officials, finding homeless people in need of shelter that can be trusted to take care of the Micro Tiny Home.
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