Image for post
Image for post

Project Name:

Dream Big, Live Little.

Project Overview:

Dream Big, Live Little is a project that explores sustainable living, tiny homes, and analyzes the relationship between both. The purpose of this project is to raise awareness of 1) tiny houses and the tiny home movement and 2) the different ways in which people can live sustainably to better our lives, the environment and our world. This project additionally provides ideas that focus around the positive impact tiny homes could have on impoverished or underdeveloped communities. I am a strong believer of the idea that design can be used to create positive social impacts all around the world. Simply by changing the exterior and interior design of a space can make homes seem more desirable to live in. Design can boost individuals’ morale and fosters opportunities for growth and success. I’ve seen underdeveloped communities made of the most hardworking and kind people, who deserve so much and have such Big Dreams, despite Living in a Little space. …


There is a lot of thought that goes into designing a tiny home, and even more to make it as energy efficient and self-sustainable as possible. Perhaps one of the most important factors that must be considered during the design process is location — not only because of regulatory laws, but because of the environmental setting. For example, it might not make sense to harvest energy through solar panels if the area you are settling in is almost always cloudy with thunderstorms. Likewise, it would not make sense to rely on water from your rainwater collection system if everyday is going to be hot and sunny. Temperature must also be considered. If you live in a generally hotter area, try making your walls a lighter color or using materials that reflect and do not store heat. For example, clay absorbs the sun’s heat but does not conduct it. This is why we see more clay-built houses/abodes in places with warmer climates. …


The following quick statements are based upon my thoughts and opinions I have formed from my research and experiences.

Tiny homes spark change. Good change. Social change.

Tiny homes can help to solve one or more of the many problems we have in our world. For example, they may be able to help solve the affordable housing problem. Housing for the poor, homeless, and others in need of shelter. Tiny home communities could help take the homeless off the streets and bring them into encouraging and nurturing programs where they could potentially better themselves and their lives. If done right, this could do wonders for governments and municipalities all around the world in lowering crime rates, heightening education levels, and more. …


Can’t live in a tiny home? → Go minimalistic!

Living the minimalistic lifestyle is all about being in the moment and getting the full experience and immersion out of your daily events. Most of us whether we’d like to admit it or not, lack the ability to do this. We can’t focus on one thing because we have a thousand other things that captivate our attention, which on the one hand allows us to get a lot of work done, but on the other, according to some scientists, is not so good for our brains because it conversely “reduces our mind’s efficiency and performance”. Minimalism helps us pull back from a life of pressure, speed and craziness, and allows us to focus on enjoying the present. …


+How Tiny Homes can be Sustainable

Now that I’ve given you a brief intro on tiny homes and regulations, what is the benefit of tiny living? Why go through all the trouble of researching and complying with tiny home regulations when you could just buy a regular house? Well, No.1, “just buying a regular house” is actually not so simple. And No.2, a tiny house also comes with many other greater benefits. I will categorize them in 3 main sectors: Environmental, Financial, and Additional.

Environmental Benefits:

  • Lower energy usage: Less electricity and heat required to power and warm a smaller space. Less fossil fuels burned. …

Image for post
Image for post

+ Rules & Regulations

“The Tiny House Movement is an architectural and social movement that encourages living a simpler life in a smaller space” — TinyHomeBuilders

Since most of my thesis project is on tiny homes, I should probably start writing about them too! To those who are new to the whole idea of tiny homes, consider this a brief intro…

A tiny home is simply defined as any livable structure that is 400sqft or less. In reality though, people in the U.S who live in homes that are anything less than 1,000sqft consider themselves to be living in a tiny home. Tiny homes can be mobile (THOW = Tiny Home on Wheels) or simply on the ground like a regular house. Tiny homes on wheels must adhere to certain motor vehicle laws as they are considered recreational vehicles. …


+Other Great Tools For Educators on Sustainable Goals

While doing my research on sustainability, I came across one site that had a link to “Educational Tools” in the nav bar. While I would normally gloss over this since I am not an educator myself, it just so happens that today a very good friend of mine received a job offer to teach middle school math and science, so I decided to check it out— and I found an amazing site for educators.

The site is called: “The World’s Largest Lesson”. It provides educators of all fields with an innumerable amount of resources to teach their students more about sustainability development goals. The site provides in-depth lesson plans and tons of creative resources for teachers on how to introduce and tackle goals such as “No Poverty”, “Zero Hunger”, “Gender Equality”, “Sustainable Cities and Communities”, “Climate Action” and much more! Additionally, this site is easy to navigate, easy to read and understand, and has many visually appealing graphics (a huge plus to me, educators, and students who browse the site)! …


Try This!!! → → →

Next time you wash your hands:

  1. Put a giant pot in your kitchen sink and wash your hands over it so all the water falls into the pot and none escapes.
  2. Wash your hands like you normally would.
  3. Turn the water off, dry your hands.
  4. Look into the pot.

How much water did you use? How much did you waste?

The other day, I did the same thing, and I was SHOCKED to see that the amount of water I used to wash my hands could fill at least half of my Brita Water Filter. I was shocked because I knew that I wash my hands at least 5 times a day and that all that water I ever used went straight down the drain and was, well, just…gone. It then made me think about all the people around the world who don’t have water like I do, who don’t have the ease of turning on a faucet and having a rush of clean water come out. …


The Key to Our Survival

What do you think of when you hear the word “sustainable”?

Sustainability can be defined as: the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance (Google). Or in even clearer terms, it is defined as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs” (Investopedia).

In a business sense, Sustainability has three main pillars: economic, environmental, and social. These three pillars are also referred to as people, planet and profits. Sustainability encourages businesses to frame decisions in terms of environmental, social, and human impact for long-term goals, rather than on short-term gains (Investopedia). This ensures that a company is, well, sustainable, meaning they are more likely to stay in business in the future because they’ve already analyzed the logistics, taken precautions, and planned for it. Businesses who can find a way to ensure all three pillars co-exist and thrive healthily together in rough times are the ones that I would say have done a good job at living up to their sustainable claims. This COVID-19 epidemic really proves a challenge to companies all around the world. It puts all of our communities and businesses to a test. …


Excerpts from the Convention

Back in December 2019, I attended the Mid-Atlantic Tiny House Expo in Philadelphia: (see website: https://tinyhouseexpos.com). I thought this event was absolutely amazing– I was able to learn a lot and also make some great connections! People at this event were so knowledgable, extremely helpful, friendly, and real down to earth! I was honestly surprised by how helpful people were, as any person you walked up to would answer all your questions and tell you everything you need to know to build your own tiny home! It really showed me how much people care about this “tiny home movement”. It’s such a nice community of supportive people, looking to help others and to grow. …

About

Jamie Ling

Production Manager/Designer/Team Leader/Businesswoman/Friend/Mentor and much much more!… Just sharing my thoughts with the world!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store