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Tiny House Fair Speakers & Presentations fair presenters

Whether you're dreaming of building your own tiny house, ready to buy, or you already live tiny and want to connect with others, the Tiny House Fair is for you! We will have some of the same great speakers as last year (Jay Shafer, Deek Diedricksen & Lina Menard, to name just a few) as well as some terrific additions (Ma'ikwe Schaub Ludwig from the Dancing Rabbit and Brad Kittel of Tiny Texas Houses, for example). Join us for a weekend of creative thinking and exploring of tiny house hopes & dreams!

Sustainable is Possible! — Ma'ikwe Schaub Ludwig

Is there reason to hope for the world? Can we live a good life and still be sustainable? What does it actually take to be sustainable in the modern world? And who do we need to become to make it possible? These are the big questions that Ma'ikwe Ludwig has spent her life answering, and this engaging talk brings together years of experience in sustainability education and intentional community living, with a strong sense of humor and a deep, challenging invitation to engage socially and spiritually in being part of the solutions available to us, right now.

Starting an Intentional Community Ma'ikwe Schaub Ludwig

Living together with others with shared goals can be a tremendous leverage point for social change and sustainability, as well as a great way to have deeper connections in a fragmented world. This community veteran shares her experience as a community founder and joiner: what to think about, how to approach community, what pitfalls to avoid, and how to know what to sweat and what you can relax about. Come hear about finding the sweet spot between idealism and practicality that makes for successful community.

  • Ma'ikwe Schaub Ludwig's work blends her three main passions: community, sustainability and the kind of personal growth that helps us be better humans. Website: www.maikwe.net.
  • Ma'ikwe is the Executive Director of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage's nonprofit wing, the Director of Ecovillage Education US, and is on the Board of Directors of Fellowship for Intentional Community.
  • As a regular writer for Communities magazine, she helps give people glimpses into consciously lived life in intentional communities, and supports new groups getting off the ground. Ma'ikwe teaches consensus, facilitation and general group dynamics, often with her husband, Laird Schaub.
  • Ma'ikwe is the author of Passion as Big as a Planet, and recently gave her first TEDx talk: Sustainable is Possible!

Salvage Mining to Build Homes — Brad "Darby" Kittel

Learn how to salvage building materials, clean them, and then turn them into your own "organic" tiny house that can be transported to stay with you for the rest of your life. This will be a new generation of housing, intended to last for a century, and not subject to the built-in obsolescence of the newer and often inferior, imported construction materials of today. Brad will touch on the issues of cost and time, and show how it is more organic, healthier, and smarter in the long run to build this way, using only a minimum of new resources.

Toxicity of Materials Brad "Darby" Kittel

Brad will discuss outgassing and the unhealthy fumes that are given off from the plastics, vinyls, carpet, sheetrock, plywood, particle board, glues, formaldehyde, and paints commonly used in building materials. Each adds to the toxin load of the limited air inside of a tiny house.  

As you shrink the footprint of the house you decrease the air space inside more than the wall, floor, and ceiling surface areas that contribute to the outgassing. Brad will share his knowledge on the dangers, particularly for children and pregant women, and how to take precautions to protect the air quality in your tiny home.

Brad Kittel (goes by Darby to his friends) has devoted his career to salvage, rehabilitation of old homes, and architectural antiques.
  • He has been recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year in the Socially Responsible Category for rebuilding delipitated neighborhoods in East Austin.  
  • He founded Discovery Architectural Antiques, Pure Salvage Living, and Tiny Texas Houses. Brad has created some of the most elaborate tiny houses in the industry, and is the only one to create them out of 99% pure salvage and all American parts.
  • This year, Brad has begun development of tiny house villages that include a market for all things old and salvaged, as well as music venues and other means of supporting the villages.  The intent is to create a town from Pure Salvaged materials and all American parts that can be replicated anywhere in the USA so that we can spur the transition to downsizing and use of what we have on hand rather than importing toxic materials and throwing our treasured past in the landfills.

Simplifying & Smallifying Tips— Lina Menard Lina teaching tiny chair

Lina smallified her life when she downsized from an 800 square foot house to begin living a simple life in small spaces. In the past three years she has lived in a travel trailer, a yurt, a backyard cottage, and two tiny houses on wheels. The smallest of these was only 113 square feet and the largest was nearly 600. She has been teaching workshops to share what she learned from her 200 Things Challenge. In this presentation she will share her favorite tips for simplifying and smallifying and get you thinking about what really matters most.

Lina Menard is a designer, builder, and tiny house dweller. She keeps a blog called This Is The Little Life, featuring vignettes about simple living in small spaces, and is the Content Developer for TinyHomes.com.
  • Lina offers workshops and consulting services for sustainable housing and lifestyles, specializing in small homes.
  • She holds a Sustainable Building & Design Certification from Yestermorrow, a masters in Urban & Regional Planning from Portland State University, and certificates in Urban Design and Sustainable Building Advising.
  • Lina has been featured in the Portland Tribune, OR Magazine, Vermont Public Radio, and Portlandia.

Tiny Housers Make Good Neighbors — Elizabeth Roberts, Esq. Elizabeth Roberts 

Elizabeth Roberts is a real estate attorney in the metro Atlanta area and a Senior Assistant Solicitor in Code Enforcement for the City of Atlanta. She has experience with in-fill housing and overlay redistricting which allow for expanded or restricted zoning uses.

  • Elizabeth's main focus has been transactions and real estate title with specialization in Land Banking, Tiny Houses, ECHO Housing (Elder Cottage Housing Opportunities), CHDO's (Community Housing Development Opportunities), TAD development (Tax Allocation District) and Builders of all kinds of projects.  In the support of the Tiny House Community, she is a Tiny House Alliance member and has drafted a Model Good Neighbor Agreement that individuals and communities might use when incorporating Tiny Houses into established neighborhoods.  
  • Elizabeth is a recent attendee of Yestermorrow Design Build School and the 2013 Atlanta Bar Association, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyer Foundation Award recipient for Professional Excellence in Pro Bono Representation.

Building & Decorating Your Home for a Heck of a Lot Less — Deek and Dustin Diedricksen Deek Diedricksen

Derek "Deek" Diedricksen, host and designer for HGTV's "Extreme Small Spaces" and YouTube's "Tiny Yellow House", author of Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, and the man behind Relaxshacks.com, will be co-presenting will be his brother, small house dweller, and environmental toxicologist Dustin "Dr. Demolition" Diedricksen.

  • The two have built and designed for the History Channel and the DIY Network. They have hosted several independent hands-on design workshops around the country, and built an off-grid cabin in the woods of Vermont, at the ages of 18 and 22.
  • Deek's work has appeared in the NY Times, Boston Globe, China Times, The Seattle Times, The UK Daily News, on NPR, CBS, ABC Television, The AlJazeera Network, and beyond.

Building a Dome Home — Steve Areen

Steve will be sharing his dome home building project, as well as his latest inspirations, including permaculture design.

For over 20 years Steve Areen has been exploring the world as an adventure travel photographer, often volunteering with building projects in the remote places he visits.

After designing and building his beautiful dome home in Thailand, Steve began getting letters from all over the world from people he had inspired with his creation.

He is now working on improving the design to help others build their own homes.  A design that is low cost and quick to build, yet strong, beautiful and in harmony with nature.

Tiny House Systems— Abel Zimmerman Zyl Abel

When you are building a tiny house, some of the most piquant questions arise around systems. What does it take to put them in? How do you hook to utilities when your house is done? How do you make toast, take a shower, warm up on a cold evening, or plug in that circular saw your aunt gave you for your birthday?

Topics covered: electricity, water, heating, gas, wastewater, and solar. For each topic, we will have 1) a design overview, and 2) a sketch of installation process. Information is specific to tiny houses – towable or built on the ground.

As always, we will keep one eye on safety, for you and your house.

Abel Zimmerman Zyl of Zyl Vardos, is a tiny house designer, builder, and engineer. Specialties are systems, solar, weatherization, and achieving unusual structural shapes. Abel has been designing and installing residential and commercial systems for 10 years (electrical systems for 20 years).

Build or Buy— Dan Louche Dan

Are you considering moving into a tiny house but not sure if you should build it yourself or perhaps have someone else build it for you? Building your own house can seem incredibly intimidating and you may be wondering if you have what it takes. Find out the pros and cons of buying and building so that you can make a more informed decision.

Dan Louche is the owner of Tiny Home Builders and has been building tiny houses for the last 5 years. He is the author of the Tiny House Design & Construction Guide and offers workshops in building tiny houses.

Contain Yourself!— Coz Walker Container Workshop

Should you consider using shipping containers for your tiny house? Of course you should. Coz will be discussing the ins and outs of cargo container construction.

Coz is the owner and instructor of Container House Workshops and lives at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. He has been in and out of the construction trade since he was 16, when he started his own roofing company. Soon Coz will be launching a line of Tiny Container House Plans. Tiny House Fair attendees will be the first to see some of these plans.

Tiny Homes on the Move: Wheels & Water— Lloyd Kahn Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn will show slides from his latest book, Tiny Homes on the Move: Wheels & Water, to be published July 14, 2014. Two years in the making, the book showcases 90 tiny homes that either roll on the roads or float in the water: vans, pickup trucks with campers, house buses, house trucks, trailers, sailboats and houseboats. The book is a continuation of Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter, here with 21st century nomadic living.

Tiny Homes Simple Shelter

Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn

A graduate of Stanford, Lloyd Kahn left a career in insurance to build houses. His first project was a sod-roof studio with succulents planted on the roof. The second was a used-wood, timber-frame Japanese/Bernard Maybeck-influenced design: a post-and-beam frame with poured concrete walls. Before these two jobs, he'd had little building experience, but quickly learned on the job. This is where he discovered the owner/builder perspective in learning to build. He tried to maintain this outlook throughout his publishing career, so he could explain building techniques to novice builders. Lloyd was the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog in the 60s, and published Shelter in 1973. He has been publishing books ever since, for over 40 years. Lloyd also blogs. He lives with his wife Lesley on a half-acre homestead in Northern California.

(Note: the cover of Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter features the Red Mascot built by Darby "Brad" Kittel of Tiny Texas Houses.)

Land Buying Primer— Tom Greene Tom Greene

Are you interested in siting a tiny house on your own private land? Tom Greene of SoFair Farms will speak on site selection, negotiation, and land use, as well as answer any real estate-related questions you may have.

Tom Greene is the founder of SoFair Farms, an intentional ecovillage on 20 acres in Fairfield, IA, focused on organic farming, local enterprise initiatives, and sustainable community development. A licensed realtor, Tom has extensive experience in real estate transactions. He is also hosts the tiny house and co-housing meetup groups in Fairfield, IA and Philadelphia, PA.

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  Details on the Community Roundtable will be added later, so please check back.