Help us create a more diverse tiny house movement!

Over the past six years of being active in the tiny house movement I have seen the diversity of people interested in building and living tiny, so it was always a surprise to me when I would attend and speak at the nation’s largest tiny house event – the Tiny House Jamboree – how overwhelmingly homogeneous the event was (almost all white). When the Jamboree moved this year from Colorado Springs to Dallas, I hoped the event and speaker lineup would be more representative of not only the city where it’s being held but also of the movement as a whole.

However, when a colleague and I expressed concern to the organizers for the third year in a row about the all-white, and almost all-male speaker lineup, we received a tremendous amount of pushback.  The contract I had signed to lead a workshop at the event was rescinded, and Jewel Pearson, co-founder of Tiny House Trailblazers, received a racist, threatening message from a tiny house event organizer. For the full story about our efforts and the response we received, please read the article I posted last month to the tiny house community (below).

Everyone's Welcome

Article I wrote last month on Medium about our experiences trying to make tiny house events more inclusive and representative

Rather than going where we’re not welcome, we’re instead working with others who value diversity, who understand the tiny house movement is not just comprised of TV hosts and lifestyle bloggers with large Instagram followings, and who understand what it takes to build true community.  As such we’re planning a series of talks over the next three months, “Art, Culture, Creativity and Tiny Houses” to help bring diverse voices and diversity awareness to the larger community.

We are fundraising to pay for the travel costs in October for the founders of Tiny House Trailblazers , Jewel Pearson and Dominique Moody, to host a talk in DC and attend the Mid Atlantic Tiny House Expo, whose proceeds are being donated to Civic Works. Some of the smaller tiny house events, like the Mid Atlantic Expo, do not have budget to pay travel or speaker costs, but still want to show the diversity of the tiny house movement and by bringing the founders of Tiny House Trailblazers to this event they will be able to do that.

Will you join us and support bringing diverse representation to tiny house events?  There are numerous ways to support our efforts:

  1. Please donate to the Tiny House Trailblazers fundraising campaign that will pay travel costs for the Tiny House Trailblazers and will fund a video about diversity to be shared freely with event organizers and online.

  2. Attend the talk in DC on Friday, October 27 to hear the stories of Tiny House Trailblazers.  Please RSVP on EventBrite.

  3. Attend the Mid-Atlantic Tiny House Expo on October 28 and 29 and come by the Tiny House Trailblazers booth to say Hi!

 

 

 

Update on tiny houses in DC

Happy Winter!

Wait…what Winter?

It’s hard to believe the photo below was my tiny house just a year ago here in Washington, DC.  We are getting ready for some changes that we will announce soon on the site, but in the meantime I wanted to give you all a few resources for staying engaged with the tiny house community in the DC/VA/MD area since I’ve noticed many new subscribers to our site in the New Year. Welcome!

12605277_10156466793030254_9027330514930056369_o

Before shoveling. Tiny House in DC winter storm. 2016

Now that we have been living in our houses for a couple years, there isn’t as much to blog about regularly, but we continue to stay active in the tiny house movement.  Jay blogs about his travels and minimalist lifestyle in addition to hosting open houses in the warmer months.  I, Lee, am busy working with the Tiny House Collaborative, a nationwide organization that empowers individuals and organizations to transform their communities and cities through innovative housing and lifestyle choices and provides the resources to design, build, and dwell efficiently.

It seems 2017 may just skip Winter altogether and move right into Spring, which is fine by me.  In the tiny house world Spring is our favorite season since it’s the beginning of build season! So, if you’ve been thinking about building a tiny house or just want to know if the lifestyle is a good fit for you, consider some Spring tiny house events.  Join the Tiny House Collaborative for our Tiny House 101 workshop in mid-March in Washington DC.  Or if you would like to see a dozen owner-built tiny houses all in one location come down to Dallas in April for the nation’s largest Earth Day event.  Not only is there a tiny house community that gets set up for tours over the weekend, you can also take a workshop on how to set up tiny house communities.

15235361_822361134570637_7213135951828353306_o.jpg

Tiny House Expo at Earth Day Texas 2016. Photo Credit: Tiny House Expedition 

Finally, if you’d like to keep informed of local tiny house-related events and connect with other tiny house enthusiasts there are numerous ways to do so:

I hope your 2017 is off to a great start, and we will be in touch soon with news about our next ventures and adventures!

 

 

A few December tiny house events

Before the cold weather really sets in and we bundle up in our houses (big or small), a few tiny house events happening in DC next week:

Thursday, December 8 @ 7:30PM
Tiny house talk + Q&A at Patagonia DC
Free admission, free snacks, and free beer! Jay will be talking about building and living in the Matchbox, and the big adventures living simply can provide. Doors open at 7PM.

Sunday, December 11 @ 11AM
Tiny house tour of the Matchbox
Take a tour of the 150-square-foot, off-grid house, currently situated right in the middle of a bustling and festive holiday tree farm, courtesy of Old City Farm & Guild.

Hope you can make it!

jay_0125

The Matchbox at Old City Farm & Guild

 

Tour the Matchbox: September 15th, 2016

Between summer travel and summer heat, it’s been a quiet season for Boneyard Studios. But with cooling weather and lovely evenings ahead, we’re excited to announce another tiny house tour Thursday, September 15 at 6PM! After dozens and dozens of Sunday morning open houses, we’re curious to try out a weekday evening tour, aimed at those who may not be able to make it downtown on a weekend. The Matchbox (and only the Matchbox) will be open for viewing and a Q&A at 925 Rhode Island Avenue NW—home of Old City Farm & Guild, with a Metro stop, CaBi station, multiple bus stops, and plenty of bike parking (and car parking) nearby.

Like always, we’ll start promptly with a general introduction, so please arrive on time. Afterwards you’ll be free to ask questions, take photographs, check out the space and its many small and off-grid features, and take a walk around the lovely urban farm right in the Matchbox’s backyard. Catch a few more details on Facebook here, or head on over and register here. Hope to see you on the 15th!

DSC01560

The Matchbox @ 925 Rhode Island Avenue NW

Tiny house tours are back again! Come tour the Matchbox April 10th

After a winter in hibernation, Boneyard Studios is back with more spring, summer, and fall tiny house events! Full calendar coming soon, but in the meantime—the first 2016 tour of the Matchbox will be on Sunday, April 10 from 11AM to 1PM. Come by to ask questions about simple living and tiny house design, walk through DC’s only fully off-grid and self-sustaining tiny home, and check out the awesome urban farm and garden center managed by our great friends at Old City Farm & Guild.

10311783_1071881962855492_4388940726209160160_n

As usual, we’ll do a big Q&A right at 11—so please arrive on time for that!—followed by a leisurely procession through the Matchbox (alas, the small house can’t exactly fit our enormous crowds all at once). Photography welcome, kids welcome, dogs welcome, everyone welcome (though please let us know if we can help arrange any special accommodations). We’re at 925 Rhode Island Ave NW, just a few minutes’ walk from the Shaw Metro (yellow/green) and tons of bus stops and CaBi stations. There’s ample room for bikes, and if you have to drive, street parking is available in the area.

Oh, one last thing: Boneyard Studios is a little non-profit that organizes big events abot tiny houses throughout the District. These tours cost a bit to put on (liability insurance, rental space, incidental repairs, etc.), so we’re asking for a small admittance donation if you can swing it (though you’ll always be welcome if you can’t). Either way, grab a spot here (or down below), and share with your Facebook buddies here. See you in April!

More information about the Matchbox here, and Boneyard Studios all over here. The Matchbox has been featured in the Washington PostCBS NewsDwellthe AtlanticTreehugger, the Washington City PaperNPRArchitectural Record, the National JournalUrban TurfCountry LivingThe DailyUK Mail Online, the New York Daily NewsABC7FOX5FOX NewsWAMUReasonInhabitat, and more.

Introducing the Tiny House Collaborative and DC Workshop!

The last six months since I posted about the Tiny House Jamboree have been busy, and I’m excited to announce a new resource for those of you wanting to learn about tiny houses. The Tiny House Collaborative officially launched a month ago, and our first workshop will be held in DC at the end of March.  Come and learn from tiny house designers, builders, and advocates from across the country.  More information is available here.

When we started Boneyard Studios we did so because we didn’t want to build our tiny houses alone in isolation but rather within a community.  Even though 3 of the original 4 of us have all left the property where we began we have still continued on with community efforts.  Elaine Walker has been instrumental in getting the American Tiny House Association off the ground, Jay Austin and I have continued to host events around tiny houses here in DC in collaboration with Old City Farm and Guild where the Matchbox house is located, and I have been busy working with a great group of folks on a resource-sharing site for tiny house enthusiasts, builders, and cities.  This past fall Vina Lustado of Sol Haus Design brought me out to Ojai, CA to lead a workshop with Lina Menard on tiny house communities for city planners and community members, and this winter I met up with fellow collaborators in Orlando, FL where my colleague James Taylor has helped to grow a tiny house community of 12 houses and counting!

12240822_1008485902528432_2863177310027810415_o

Tiny House Community Workshop participants in Ojai, CA. 

You can learn more about the Tiny House Collaborative on our website, but a little about us here: We are designers, builders, and advocates, most of us living in our tiny houses full-time and we represent all regions of the U.S.  We met at the 2015 Tiny House Jamboree and instantly came to the same conclusion. There was so much excitement and possibility in the tiny house movement — so much need for education and outreach. We knew we didn’t need yet another tiny house business just trying to make a buck on the growth of tiny house popularity. Instead, we wanted to offer a place for more resource sharing and more connectedness! The word “synergy” described our vision perfectly: the interaction of elements that when combined is greater than the sum of its parts.

We’ve seen countless friends and colleagues try to offer tiny house products and services alone. But we had a different idea. Collectively, no collaboratively, we can contribute much more. Clearly, our combined knowledge and skills vastly outweighs that of any of us individually.  Come learn with us at our DC workshop or just check out the site where we will continue to post resources like our map of tiny house builders!

 

 

TINY HOUSE EVENTS: tours and concerts this autumn

Many thanks to the 700+ people who came out on a (slightly soggy) afternoon to tour the Matchbox earlier this month. It’s clear that tiny house fever is still raging strong, so we’re thrilled to announce the first set of our 2015 fall events. All events (unless otherwise noted) will take place at the Matchbox’s new spot at Old City Farm & Guild, in a super-accessible location over at 925 Rhode Island Avenue NWSIgn up here!

Tuesday, October 6, 6:30PM: TINY HOUSE CONCERT
Featuring AndrewN and Talya TavorBYOB.

Sunday, October 18, 11AM: TINY HOUSE OPEN HOUSE
Tour the Matchbox and learn more about the tiny house movement.

Tuesday, October 20, 6:30PM: TINY HOUSE CONCERT
Featuring The Darkest Timeline. BYOB.

Friday, October 30, 6:30PM: TINY HOUSE CONCERT
Featuring Drive TFCBYOB.

Sunday, November 22, 11AM: TINY HOUSE OPEN HOUSE
Tour the Matchbox and learn more about the tiny house movement.

10632642_786145204762504_1259147320407424360_n

Note: Just the Matchbox is at Old City Farm & Guild for now, so only one house is available for touring. But there’s loads of other cool stuff at the farm to look at (it is, after all, a farm). We’ll be posting more photos and information about the Matchbox’s new surroundings (very) soon, but if you just can’t wait, head on over to Old City for bulbs, pumpkins, seeds, flowers, planters, and a whole lot more in one of DC’s greatest examples of creative reuse of space. We’re all right in the heart of Shaw at 925 Rhode Island Ave NW.