This is La Chouette (little owl).
My house on wheels, or tiny house as any dwelling not ridiculously huge is called in the west. For future references I will be referring to her as a ‘house’, and not a ‘tiny house’. In recent years the ‘tiny house’ movement has grown steadily in the US and to a lesser extent in Europe. Supporting this movement is a wish to live simpler, freer, cheaper, to not overuse resources or overtax the earth. While I sympathise with and to some extent share these principles, I have a few of my own, slightly different.
Before starting the building project I have spent a decade or so travelling, living in short term rentals, hotels, some longer rentals up to a year or so, in guest rooms, on boats, in a tent etc. And during these years I got to wonder. What is a house?
Even more importantly; what do I need from a house? What to I want from a house. And beyond the pretty obvious four walls and a roof to keep out the rain, or the more literary a room of one’s own, I want something else.
Firstly, a house is air encapsulated. It creates shadows. And with this, dreams and thoughts encapsuled. Building a house to me is finding the balance of giving these thoughts room to breathe while not weighing them down with brick and plaster so much they’ll never live. I want my house to breathe.
This, of course poses the more practical question; how to keep the rain out. And to what extent do I really need to keep the outdoors out. How closed does the membrane between outside and inside need be, or can be for a construction to be called a house while at the same time not becoming a tomb?
Secondly, a house is somewhere we move. We pose our bodies in beds and sofas, we walk from room to room, often with a restless feeling. We exist in this space and we form our bodies along with it. So, I need somewhere I can move comfortably without getting lost. I’ll be getting back to this, along with more about Phenomenology.
Also, most modern houses are built for the benefit not of the inhabitants, but for the placing of modern appliances and furniture. They are built and furnished to be regarded by an outside spectator, not moved around in by an inhabitant. This brings me to the question; what do I need to do in a house and how to I want to do this? It seems like a banal question, but like all simple question has deep consequences. One of these regards The Question of the Sofa, which I’ll be addressing in my next post.