In February, 2011, we spent a couple of hours with Jay Shafer (Tumbleweed Tiny House Company), in his 96 square foot house-on-wheels in Sebastopol, California. Jay is one of the more well-known and successful tiny house designers, and there's no denying the "curb appeal" of his designs. That appeal is generated by Jay's careful attention to proportion as well as by his decisions about which elements to include in--and more precisely, what to leave out of-- his designs. But as much as he enjoys talking about design, what he really wanted to talk about was the politics of tiny houses. Why building and zoning codes are stacked against tiny houses, how the costs of purchase and upkeep compare to the big houses he calls "debtors' prisons", and why, when the Big One shakes the land around San Francisco Bay, he'd rather be in his tiny house than anywhere else.
A curiouslylocal.com movie; interview by Joan Packard; camera by George Packard, produced by Parrot Creek Productions.