Designing a Tiny House

Originally developed by
Clayton Evans (View Original)

Designing a Tiny House

Tiny houses are all the rage. From adventurous millenials to homeless advocacy groups, people across the United States and the rest of the world are jumping on the tiny house bandwagon. In this project, students will explore the tiny house movement from social and engineering perspectives. In the first lesson, students will study the societal factors motivating the tiny house movement, including housing inequality, climate change, and alternative lifestyles. They will then analyze tiny house owners to create their first tiny house profile, a document that captures the motivations and desires of a current or potential tiny house owner.


In Lesson 2, students are introduced to floor plans as a tool for engineers, architects, interior designers, and construction professionals to communicate the layout and flow of buildings, particularly tiny houses. Once students have familiarized themselves with the key features of floor plans and worked with several examples, they will draw their own floor plans using virtual tours of existing tiny houses. These skills will be extended in Lesson 3, when students do market research to gather dimensions for common tiny house appliances before diving in and creating their own custom tiny house floor plans. Finally, Lesson 4 provides various structures for students to provide and receive critical feedback to revise their floor plans and demonstrate mastery.


This project is a relevant, exciting opportunity to explore architectural design and social influences on engineering and construction. Students will be most successful in this project if they are confident in unit conversions, dimensions, and scaling.

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