This past weekend, my wife took me to the Tiny House Fest Vermont. A panel on “Good Design for All” included four architects working in the tiny-house space: John Connell, Mackenzie Stagg, Bill Austin, Bryan Louisell. One of the questions they explored had an ecosynomic twist. When looking at the built environment for human residence, there are sheetrock-box shells, living-space interiors, and memory-home life-you-dream. Commenting on the examples on-site at the fest and in the examples shared, the four architects described what we would call agreements about residence as:
- just-noun, focus on the outcomes. Build me a cost-efficient shell, which the panelists observed seems to often end up in sheetrock boxes. Inexpensive boxes.
- verb-and-noun, focus on the development of capacities, relationships, and the outcomes. Build an experience with me, a space where I live, that is also cost efficient. Beautifully crafted, customized homes.
- light-and-verb-and-noun, focus on the potential, development, and outcomes. Build the life I dream, a memory space, that is also an experience and cost efficient. Living creativity that I creatively live in.
The author of Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir, Dee Williams, suggested, in an earlier session, that the questions you ask about your life, how you experience it, and the residence you build are all agreements. You can live in a box, an experience, or the life you dream.