#Lectures

LECTURE #5

LESS SPACE MORE COMMUNITY
TINY HOUSES: CONCEPTS FOR A BETTER WAY TO LIVE TOGETHER

In English (subtitles available)

This conference took place on January 21st, 2020 and it was organized by LUCA in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing.

Van Bo Le-Mentzel, CEO of the Tiny Foundation started his lecture from the concept of tiny houses. He gave insight into a series of projects and examples of cities that are more sustainable for the environment as well as for its citizens. Le-Mentzel insisted on the urgent need of being more than ever a community.

Van Bo Le-Mentzel stated that for him, the main issue is not what a tiny house is, how big it should be, or what it should look like. In fact, a tiny house is not much different from other tiny spaces like caravans or mobile homes. When living in a tiny house, you have to face the same technical, sanitary and legal issues. For Le-Mentzel, the most important challenge when living in a tiny house is above all about to create a community around you, to not isolate yourself in a cabin in the woods but to reduce the personal space you use in favour of creating and sharing common spaces. Living in a tiny house means adapting an “urban nomad” lifestyle. You will have to transfer a part of your daily activities to public or semi-public spaces like e.g. cafés and libraries, using them as informal meetings and working spaces.

How to live in a tiny house? Each person has to find its own answers to this question. Inside and outside design is essential to valorise a small space and to create more than a box. As we all have our personality and our physical characteristics, there’s no standard solution that could satisfy everyone’s needs and location. Le-Mentzel also insisted on the fact that living in a tiny house cannot be a solution suitable for everyone. In the long term, this new form of housing does only make sense when being included in a more general reflection around urban planning and housing, with the aim of developing solutions to live more sustainably.

Founded in 2019 by the architect Van Bo Le-Mentzel, the Tiny Foundation defines itself as a social neighbourhood agency and its mission is to produce affordable housing, develop public neighbourhoods and help people in need. Its purpose is to create space for the social neighbourhood and provide new concepts for communal living in the city. They are an agency consisting of architects, urban planners, carpenters, media-makers and scientists, united by the fearlessness of radical innovation.

www.tinyfoundation.org