Anyone intent on downsizing (like me) is sure to be fascinated by the microhouse movement in this country. Imagine a living space of 600 square feet or less — and an attitude of “less is more” to go with it.
There are several excellent examples of microhousing at the Shemer Art Center in Phoenix as part of “MicroDwell 2014: An Exhibition Showcasing Alternative Spaces for Simple Living” through March 23. It’s an outdoor, family-friendly event, with Camelback Mountain as the attractive backdrop. Like many visitors, I had a hard time deciding which house I could most easily live in, but came away amazed at how a micro dwelling could be constructed with simple materials — often salvaged materials — and could boast designer touches both inside and out.
Creating dwellings for the show were contractors, artists, architects, designers, students and others, all of whom abide by the concepts of sustainability, portability and easy set-up.
The slide show below features:
— The part-yellow wall, part-glass wall dwelling by the team of Starin Butler, Alba Rodriguez and Traci Arellano. Notice the minimal landscape and outdoor seating area.
— The rounded-edge cube with oblong windows by Dan Dwyer and David Schwinghamer. It looks like it would have great insulation.
— The revamped travel trailer by Michael Phillip Pearce, making the most of humble materials.
— The shipping container-turned-yellow cottage by Marie Jones, complete with a simple bed, two windows, a work table and a chest of drawers.
— The wooden playhouse vibe of Mary McCormick’s dwelling, almost a work of art unto itself.
— A rustic charmer with an Arizona-flag wall built entirely with salvaged materials on an old Morrison Farms trailer, the creation of Jeff Rulon Richards.
— An open-air contemporary unit, perfectly suited to be an artist’s studio, created by Todd Armfield and Michelle Goodlive. The “Dream” painting is by Clare Tinnion.
— The “Beadle Box,” an open-air meeting space dedicated to the work of revered Phoenix residential architect Al Beadle. Posing prettily are students from Sunnyslope High School.
As part of “MicroDwell,” Shemer indoor gallery spaces are exhibiting “MicroArt,” featuring 18 Arizona artists. Shown below are three lovely and compact oils on panel by Cynthia Peterson.
View the micro dwellings from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with admission of $5. Learn more about the Phoenix forces behind the show at microdwelling.net.