knocking on noggins.

I have been seeing more and more smart critiques of tiny house living, the privileged “minimalist” movement, and the trendiness of secular asceticism. As I wait on prints of my forthcoming chapter on tiny houses, I am so encouraged by these critiques – they are great examples of what I had roughly in mind when writing my chapter (here). After wrestling with many of the same criticisms, I am currently of the opinion that the tiny house movement does hold radical political potential. First, the difficulty of going tiny in our current culture clarifies the failures in, and sinister natures of, structural and systemic ideologies which prefer to be assumed unquestionably ubiquitous; and – more materially – when living in a tiny space, one must confront waste (bodily and consumer) in ways virtually impossible to ignore. These critiques are a sign, I think, that the movement and public perception of it is becoming more nuanced – itself a symptom of more engaged politics. Tough questions come from thinking harder and, in turn, make people think harder. Incisive critique creates tension for, and demands responsibility from, the ethos behind the movements. Dialogue and debate is good for the noggin (and the spirit)! In that spirit, keep on thinking, disagreeing and demanding more from our imaginations!


4 thoughts on “knocking on noggins.

  1. I think what your doing is great and inspiring. Do you have any information on places in Oregon to put a tiny home. My son and I live in the Bay Area (Alameda CA) and we want to escape. We want to live in harmony with nature and find or start a community for tiny homes. The area would be able to provide for the community by having gardens, chickens, goats,,cows,and stuff.
    Thanks Mike

    1. Mike,
      Thanks for your encouragement! I think your best bet is to scour craigslist, and get in touch with Dee Williams at P.A.D. – they have their ear to the Portland scene. As far as Lane County, where I currently live, camping is allowed indefinitely on “family” property, so I imagine there are a lot of options. However, you might be most interested in Dharmalaya – email Ravi at, or Eugene Community Supported Shelter and Matrea Ecovillage. Hope that helps! Best of luck in your hopeful transition.

  2. Beautifully stated, you’ve articulated yet one more thing that attracts me about the TH movement that I hadn’t managed to put into words: “the difficulty of going tiny in our current culture clarifies many of structural and systemic ideologies that prefer to be assumed ubiquitous.”

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