container homes – a fad or niche?

While designing my first container home (check our residential portfolio for more information), I did some research via the web on what is out there concerning using shipping containers for residential construction and discovered more than I had hoped for.
There seems to be a whole movement, or sub-culture, that is moving away from the typical big box homes of today’s suburbs and moving towards more efficient ways of living.  I’ve come across several blogs that are worth mentioning.  Major kudos out to these guys and gals for all their work in container and tiny living:
Small Living Journal
Containerist
Renaissance Ronin (a real wealth of information this one)
Tiny House Design
So, is this simply a fad or a new niche architectural style that is here to stay?  For me, I’m going with a new niche.  I started this whole process by looking at a shipping container to purchase for a shed/studio at my home instead of buying a large expensive shed from the big box home improvement retailers, this is a much cheaper alternative and I can always take it with me.  This led me to think, “could I design a practical single family home out of the same containers, and what would that look like?”  The results have been extremely entertaining.  Designing within so little space forces you to rethink how you use the space you have.  Looking around my own home I’ve discovered a lot of wasted space that simply can’t be used for any practical purpose other than a place to put “stuff”.  And lets face it, we’ve all got too much “stuff”, as the great George Carlin would say.
In an age of increasing connectivity through technology, the idea of the “home” is rapidly changing and getting smaller.  Designers are finding new ways to utilize available space in ever more efficient ways.  I would encourage everyone to check out these blogs, check out some of my designs (forthcoming) and take a look around your own home/apartment.  Ask yourself, where am I wasting space?  What could I realistically do without?  It’s an exciting topic.  I can’t wait to dive in to design #2 – container 2 square.

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