Some of them look straight out of sci-fi movies, designed somewhat like a spaceship, some like a designer camping tent, some like a boat upside down, some with interiors resembling a smartly done up budget hotel or cabin of a cruise vessel. But they are eye-catchers. On a rain-washed Edinburgh afternoon, people visiting the venues of the Edinburgh International Science Festival this April, were checking out these models in display at the city centre with great curiosity.
Urban populations are on the rise and the UN predicts that by 2060 about 66% of the world’s population will live in urban environments. A growing number of home developers are ‘thinking small’; challenging conventions and expectations as to what a home looks like and the size it is expected to be and looking to overcome obstacles through innovative architectural design.
In the year (2016) of Innovation, Architecture and Design in Scotland, the “Tiny Homes Village” is part of that campaign that had transformed the city centre into a platform for discussion of what turns a simple roof over our heads into somewhere we are happy to call home.
From tiny homes to self-sustaining eco pods, traditional Mongolian yurts and emergency housing solutions, the models challenged Edinburgh’s city dwellers to consider how far – indeed how small – they would be prepared to go.
So what are some of the ideas behind these tiny homes?
Dr Mike Page, Director, Cube Project, which builds tiny homes they call QB1, QB2, QB3 (on display at the festival), says:”In all our buildings we have aimed to show that even small houses can be fun and comfortable places to live, with very low demand on energy. We believe that many people who currently do not have access to housing (most notably in expensive cities like London) might deploy these efficient homes in small pieces of currently unused space.”
“Ideally, they would be deployed several at a time, so a small community might be established around them,” he says.