Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tiny House/Gallery on Wheels - More than a Dream?

One Sketch of ObscurAbode Dreams
Recently I was feeling really down due to health problems. I wondered, will I ever get to live out my dreams of a tiny home/gallery on wheels? And I was chatting with my bro, Milo about it. We had a moment of clarity when I asked if he'd like to help me build the Tiny Home/Gallery on wheels we've been talking about, live in it until we some day help him build the cob home of his dreams, and let me bunk with him when we run gallery showings.

I love this guy.  We aren't related by blood, but I love him like a brother and  we sort of adopted each other when he was 18. He is one of very few people in the world who I have told they could live or crash here in our home if they ever needed to. Strangely, Milo is the only one of the 3 non blood relations who hasn't taken us up on it. I say non blood relations because the same holds true for my sister, but we've never lived together as adults.  Milo is currently staying with some friends of ours in exchange for his help in turning their yard from dirt nap to sustainable desert oasis. He has a great site called Vegan Meal Adventures which I have mentioned before, yet he doesn't hassle me for being a meat eater because he knows how much I love and miss my veggies and how I long to eat them once we get my allergic reactions sorted out. He is also one of the few people who really gets all my health problems yet doesn't treat me like broken glass. And last but not least he's an artist, and we have a common love for tiny homes, and sustainable living. Why we have never discussed the possibility of teaming up to make our dreams a reality before this? I have no idea, but I'm glad I gutted up and asked the question. And his response was an instant YES! No hesitation.

Dreams of Creating a Tiny Sustainable Lifestyle
We agreed that we will not build anything until he is out of school and my health is more under control. So that gives us till Fall 2014 or so to brain storm, plan, fund raise, save, scrimp and make it happen. In order to move from dream to reality, we decided the first step is to share all the sketches and inspirational photos we like with each other, so I set up a google docs folder, and we are using it to brain dump all our ideas, hopes, goals, dreams, and inspirations towards a tiny home/gallery on wheels. Originally I was thinking of calling it ObscurAbode, but we're going to toss other names around like Pinwheel. We figure the name will come together when the house/gallery does.

I suspect a few things will hold true: Our design will be creative/artistic as we are both artists, meticulous as we both tend to research, plan and prepare with attention to detail, as self sustainable as possible, innovative, and accessible to people with disabilities. The rest is going to come together after we both share what we need, want and hope to see in this project.

It presents a unique challenge to create something which is both a house that feels like home, and a gallery which is open to the public. For one thing, we have been discussing how to make the most use of vertical space and still have it accessible to people with mobility issues. This is important not only because I will be staying there on occasion, but more importantly because we want the gallery to be wheelchair accessible. Two of our most fun and innovative ideas have been inspired by thinking about people with disabilities as relates to our tiny home. One is a chair rail/lift system which can be used with or without power to move around the home both vertically and horizontally, and another is an accessible fold out restroom/changing room/shower. Both are very exciting and we are looking forward to making them a reality. In the mean time, I am sketching, playing with a floor plan app on my cell phone, and considering building tiny models so that we can visualize our ideas in 3d. Will my dreams of a tiny house/gallery on wheels come true? Stay tuned!

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