When considering how many people are leaving behind conventional housing–that is, choosing to live in tiny houses on wheels, RVs, yurts, gypsy wagons, and so on–I wonder if there will come a time when a “street address” doesn’t apply, especially for those who live a more nomadic lifestyle.
And as the world becomes more electronic and paper (and a lot of the U.S. Post Office) goes away, might there be a time when a person’s “address” is simply their IP address? E.g., “If you need to contact me, I’m at 188.8.131.525.”
What are pocket neighborhoods?
This suggestion came to me via the Tiny House Yahoo Group, and it really fits with my idea of what Sovrana could be: an integrated, connected community of people who share space, help each other, socialize, and respect needs for privacy.
If you had all the time and materials in the world, what kind of tiny house would you build?
Mine is sort of a cross between two Tumbleweed plans, the Weebee and the Lusby. The one element that I want is the sleeping area on the ground floor (not in a loft). Not that I couldn’t climb up a ladder into my bed every night, but I don’t wanna.
Inspiration to make a model struck one day. Here’s the result:
Tiny houses (or microhouses) are the hallmark of the social movement sparked by Jay Shafer. Groups and businesses supporting the paradigm shift to “smaller is better” include Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, Small House Society, Small House Life, Bungalow To Go, Tortoise Shell Homes, Sidekick Homes, and many others. From Wikipedia: “The advantages of a small home exceed basic economics; such houses change the way people live and are attractive for people who want to lead a less cluttered and complicated life and reduce their ecological impact. The typical size of a small home seldom exceeds 500 square feet.”
Intentional communities are planned residential communities designed to emphasize teamwork and camaraderie. The members of the community typically hold a common social vision and may follow alternative lifestyles. They typically also share responsibilities and resources. Intentional communities include collective households, cohousing communities, ecovillages, communes, and cooperatives. There are many intentional communities in the Pacific NW and California, including 40th Avenue Cohousing, Cascadia Commons, Orca Landing, Ravensong Collective, and Yarrow Ecovillage.
Writers retreats and artists colonies flourish on the West Coast, due to the diversity of artistic communities. Poets, singers, painters, novelists, and techno-artisans (such as web designers and graphic artists) are found in abundance. Writers can attend retreats at the Oregon Writer’s Colony, Fishtrap, Hedgebrook, Artsmith, and Mesa Refuge. Fine artists can converge at the Pilchuck Glass School, Oregon School of Art and Craft, and Headlands Center for the Arts. Retreat centers offer a supportive atmosphere and (usually) housing for residents.
THE VISION: A Progressive Community for Artists
What would happen if you combined the simplicity and eco-friendly elements of tiny houses with the model of an intentional community and the creative vibe of a literary retreat or artists colony? You would have Sovrana: A Small House Village and Artists Retreat.