No single person or event can be credited with the origin of the Tiny House Movement in the United States. Two individuals, however, did make significant contributions during the late 1990s, and their ideas and actions significantly helped shape the movement. In 1998, architect Sarah Susanka published the hardcover version of her book, The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live . Its thesis not only advocates living in smaller homes but also embraces a simpler lifestyle.
During the next two years, Jay Shafer published his germinal ideas in his first book, The Small House Book, self-published in 1999, with revised versions in recent years. Then he built his second tiny home, which he subsequently named “Tumbleweed” (Figure 1, below). It was a small, 110 square foot beauty, described by the New Yorker writer, Alec Wilkinson, as “a Gothic cottage from a children’s story.” (Shafer’s first tiny home was a used fourteen-foot, self-modified Airstream.) Continue reading “The Tiny Home Movement in a Nutshell”