Qi Chen

Tiny House On Wheels

Architecture Design

Tiny House On Wheels

Dec, 2015 - Current

Why tiny house?

I have always loved the idea of simple and sustainable living, which has brought about these specific reasons why I decided to do this tiny house project:

• I want to achieve financial freedom by going tiny with zero mortgage.
• I want to live a simple life with less clutter, so I can save my time for the more important things in my life.
• I have always dreamt of building my permanent home together with my family and this tiny house project is the first step in learning how to build a home.
• I love doing hands-on projects. As a user experience designer, I spend my working day in front of a computer. So this project is my chance to break out from the monotonous routine and physically bring my design to life.

“In the end, by building tiny home and joining the tiny house community, I hope to live my life in a more sustainable and natural way. From my example, I wish to spread the idea to others and inspire them to make their lives happier, and hopefully make our planet a better place to live.”

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Research and learning

The Research can be basically divided to three main parts.

“First, I started out by learning from various tiny house design courses as well as courses on designing and constructing traditional houses. I had gained substantial knowledge in: codes, foundation, framing, insulation, siding, electricity, plumbing, custom design, and many more aspects when it comes to building home.

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Second, based on my knowledge of how to design and construct a tiny house, I researched into how to incorporate the existing technology towards developing a more sustainable and natural way for the house system, mainly for the electrical and plumbing system.

Third, I researched in the smart way of maximizing functional space, because of the size limitation of the trailer, which is basically the foundation for the tiny house. With that in mind I designed the tiny house based on several keys: multi-purpose, convertible space, and ergonomics.

Incorporate UX in interior Design

This is an example of how I incorporated the UX mindset into the kitchen design planning. Because the kitchen is the most complicated area of the house, I used user scenario as an effective way to foresee the user behaviors and improve the efficiency for the design.

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Main Map
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Step One
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Step Two
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Step Three
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Step Four
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Step Five
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Step Six
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Step Seven

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Prototyping (Frame)

Based on the knowledge I've learned on codes and construction, I used the program Sketchup to create the computer 3D model for my tiny house design.

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Prototyping (Exterior)


Based on the knowledge I've learned from custome design, this is the interior design plan I created for the tiny house.

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Construction Training

In order to start the building soon, getting some hands-on experience of construction work was necessary before I start building my own house.

The local habitat of humanity and the relevant meetup groups are great sources to gain opportunities to learn how to build and get connected.

I have been involved in multiple house building projects, working on foundation to framing to insulation to siding. Every time there is something new to learn!

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