Northwestern ‘Tiny House’ Aims To Teach About Sustainability

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — There is plenty of room to stretch out, insist the designers of the 128 square-foot Tiny House now on display on the Northwestern University campus.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, the Tiny House is now on view at at Sheridan Road and Noyes Street in Evanston. Co-designer William Fan says the house is 8 feet wide, 16 feet long, and a lot bigger than it sounds at 128 square feet.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

“We actually have a couch inside called the Flexible Love, that extends from anywhere from one person to eight people, to match whatever needs you have for it,” Fan said.

Fan says at 4 feet by 4 1/2 feet. The bathroom has a shower and compost toilet. Everything is designed for one person, with an occasional visitor needs.

The Tiny House was designed by students and young alumni from Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science It is designed to have zero net energy, and aims to teach people about the virtues of sustainability and simple living, Northwestern said.

“We’re not asking everyone to move into houses this size,” Tiny House team member Alejandro Sklar said in a news release. “Instead, we want to demonstrate what can be done with such a small space and teach people to utilize every inch they inhabit, whether that be a garden they harvest food from and use gray water to sustain or a loft they turn into a wind tunnel to ventilate a home.”

  • Callous

    Reminds me of Orwell’s “1984”. Cookie-cut single-person’s apartments. “we are not asking to everyone move into…” LOL. If/when such designers are in charge they will be moving everyone into such houses. Imbeciles.

    • Tiny House Project Member

      That’s not at all true. As a current member of the project, I can safely say that I don’t think that any of us are planning to move into a tiny house at any point in our lives. We’re not trying to push tiny houses upon people, we’re trying to use our tiny house as a display of sustainable and smart living. We hope our visitors walk away with a sense of how they might be able to reduce their footprint, even if it’s as small as changing their shower head or as big as considering living in an apartment.

      Also, the point isn’t to make “cookie cutter” apartments. Take a look at Tumbleweed Tiny Houses. They’re beautifully designed and each is unique. Have you seen the neighborhoods around Chicago and around the US that are being constructed these days? Those houses are huge and there are entire neighborhoods of them that look exactly the same. We’re not advocating communism – we’re advocating being conscious of how many resources you’re using, including space.

      Sorry Callous, I don’t think your comment was very fair or thought out. You don’t have to be impressed by our feat, you don’t have to consider living in tiny houses, you don’t have to care about reducing your footprint, but you shouldn’t call us imbeciles.

  • Northwestern Engineering’s “Tiny House” Aims to Teach About Sustainability | SiliconPrairieSocial - Chicago Suburban Tech News and Events

    […] designed by students and alumni from Northwestern’s school of Engineer and Applied Science. Continue reading here.  Northwestern Engineering's "Tiny House" was built to be a completely sustainable home […]

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