703507_10152304136200254_725397588_oAt last count I had lived in 26 different houses in six countries and many more cities, so home has been something I’ve learned to create and is not necessarily tied to a specific place or space.  However, after several years in Washington DC I found myself wanting to finally created a physical home and was drawn towards tiny houses on wheels for their simplicity and mobility. Even though most of the tiny houses I saw were built in rural areas or smaller cities, I decided I wouldn’t let the fact that I live in an urban area deter me from my desire to build one.  Yet I also knew I didn’t want to build one all on my own and wanted to embark on this process with others, so in 2012 I co-founded Boneyard Studios Tiny House Community in Washington DC with a couple other tiny house enthusiasts and built my house under the guidance of local builders and designers.

As a geographer I am passionate about redefining the ways we live and create community in highly-transient and densely-populated urban spaces, and I have worked with communities in the U.S. and Latin America on land rights and sustainable community development   I know how important it is to be able to see a tiny house in person and talk with people who are living in them before embarking on the huge endeavor of building one.  For that reason, I held numerous community work days on my house, created a tiny house concert series, and developed a tiny house design workshop with builders and designers who worked on my house.   We also welcomed hundreds of visitors every month at our Boneyard Studios open houses.  In addition, we’ve met with city officials, developers, and community development groups to help them understand how tiny houses can be a good example of urban infill and serve as a small component of affordable housing strategies and creative arts spaces in cities.

Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. I love this site! Congratulations on all your hard work and commitment to this project. I am following it with intense interest and amazement. Can hardly wait to come for a visit once your house is done.

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  2. This is wonderful and I am so excited you have your project underway!! It will be so interesting to follow. I’m happy I had an opportunity to discuss this with you in person over the holidays – it gave me a real appreciation for what you are trying to accomplish. You are such an interesting, energetic, intelligent, fun and overall wonderful young woman. I’m lucky to be a part of your life – I can learn alot from you!

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  3. Agree with all that was said above. You’re the best, and I can’t wait to get to share the process vicariously. Getting my pack down to 10kg was difficult, but I must say, there really weren’t very many things I missed. If there’s a small place for everything, there’s so much satisfaction in the retrieval/packing/using process :) Lots of love, M.

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  4. Hi Lee! I just found your site and have read it start to finish – love. I live in Dallas, and am in the process of transition from a traditional house to a tiny house, and I am making plans to start a tiny house community here. You are WAY ahead of me – and you are doing amazing things. So impressive. Maybe we can talk sometime when I get farther down the road – you know, in your “spare” time. HA I’m blogging about my transition at http://www.ABedOverMyHead.blogspot.com. And hey, where in MN are you from? I grew up in Brainerd. TOTALLY know sisu! My mom is Finn. : ) Best to you – BA

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    • Good for you! In Dallas of all places – that’s impressive! Feel free to be in contact as you progress. Would be happy to chat about details. All my family is from Northern MN – Esko (near Duluth) and Bemidgi. I grew up in the SE part of the state and in Mpls. Good luck and I look forward to following your progress as well. Thanks for your message, Lee

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  5. I am very excited for you and I want to own a tiny house myself someday. If you want to give one of your bikes to charity, I need one. I have been trying to transition to riding a bike from taking public transportation, so keep me in mind. I will be volunteering to help with the tiny house buildings. Judeailawton@yahoo.com. Judea

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  6. Lee, it was great to connect on Sunday! Thanks for sharing your insights and passion. It would be great to get involved somehow… I really like what you’re all doing.

    Please keep me in the loop on further developments, as I’m sure there are numerous ways I can contribute.

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  7. Hi there Lee!

    I work with Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and we are hosting a workshop this weekend in D.C. We would love to stop bu with the workshop attendees ans check out the project. Let me this if this may be possible. Thanks so much!

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  8. Lee,

    We have met three or four times at Boneyard Studio events and I am not sure how best to reach out (as I don’t have your personal email or phone number), but I want to be friends. I live about a mile north (up near Fort Totten) of your current BYS site and am super interested in your recent announcement to expand. Please reach out (email me privately) and we can set up a time to catch up and grab a drink.

    Abrazos,
    Maureen Capillo

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  9. Hello Lee,

    Not sure how best to reach out, but I want to be friends. We’ve met two or three times at BYS events. I am a school teacher in the district (www.lambpcs.org) at a bilingual public Montessori charter. I also grew up in Kentucky and am familiar with off the grid living. We are almost exactly the same age and I bet have some super cool stories we could swap. Finally, I am very, very intrigued about the possibility of BYS expanding and want to know more.

    Reach out via email and we can set up a time to grab a drink and hang out.

    Abrazos,

    Maureen Capillo

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