Living Large

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Drew Crawford ’01 has joined the growing community of tiny housers, people who opt to simplify their lives by inhabiting smaller spaces. Tiny houses are typically no more than 400 square feet in size and come in a variety of shapes. The tiny life gained traction in the wake of the financial and housing crisis; now tiny housers tout the appeal of their diminutive domiciles at conferences all over the country, including in Charlotte, where the city’s first Tiny House Conference sold out in April.

The individuals opting to live in tiny houses are as varied as their reasons for doing so—the most often cited are environmental concerns, financial concerns and the desire for more time and freedom. Drew Crawford’s interest in the “sharing economy,” or a socio-economic system built around the sharing of human and physical assets, prompted him to explore the tiny house life.

Crawford’s tiny house sits in a yard next to the brick ranch-style home he rents out in Davidson. Perched on a wheeled platform, the house can be easily moved to a different location. Crawford, a 2001 Davidson graduate who majored in political science and chemistry, estimates he has about 500 hours of sweat equity left to invest in the construction of his new home.

Each design decision is nothing less than intentional, and each decision presents a tradeoff—for instance, Crawford sacrificed storage space to build instead a set of stairs for use by his dog, Max. Likewise, Crawford must choose carefully each item he brings into the house. The items, and canine, pictured here made the cut.

The Golden Plunger, awarded to Crawford by his EMBA classmates at UNC Chapel Hill, faithful companion, Max, and M&Ms for something sweet

The Golden Plunger, awarded to Crawford by his EMBA classmates at UNC Chapel Hill, faithful companion, Max, and M&Ms for something sweet

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