The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company: Pioneering "Subtractive Design"

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This is a true find. The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company was started by Jay Schafer around 1997 when he began pioneering the art of building and living in small spaces. "Subtractive design" or "low-impact architecture" he calls it, and, as a professor, he has spoken on the subject in many places, including the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History, where he taught for ten years.

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All of the ten buildings his company sells are less than 500 square feet, including the one that he currently lives in, which is 70 square feet. The biggest is "The Bungalow" at 500s/f and the smallest is the"Elemeno House," which is 50 s/f and based on Buddhist story of Hojoki which translates to �The 10 Foot Square Hut.�

All of the houses are finely crafted and designed to be used as a home or a weekend escape or as a garden hut. Prices run from $15,000 to $40,000. A few are within the legal limits for travel on U.S. roadways and come on wheels, so you can take them anywhere you want. We could go on, but there's too much too say. Check out the beautiful website, especially all the links to small houses around the world. MGR


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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.