The Guardian lusts after pint-sized real estate in a great little essay by Oliver Burkeman. He writes: "There are several very down-to-earth reasons why a resurgence of interest in very small homes should be happening now. When last month New York's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, announced a competition for developers to design 300 square feet "micro-units", it was a response to high rents and the rise in one-person households; newly-built British homes are the smallest in Europe, primarily because home-builders make the most cash that way. The rural wing of the tiny homes movement, meanwhile, is motivated primarily by environmental concerns. How much more lightly can you tread on the planet than by having only one room to heat, and no space to accumulate the detritus of the modern consumer economy?"


Jetson Green extends a hearty welcome to Avant Garage, the latest LEED Platinum-targeting project from Chad Ludeman and the gang at Phily's most-excellent Postgreen Homes. Located in the Fishtown nabe, the four three-bedroom units measure about 2,100-square-feet each and boast price tags in the $360,000 to $375,000 range (three have already sold). That's the development pictured up top.


Curbed wrangles up "Five Microhomes with Stylish European Sensibilities."


The Seattle Times advises that anyone getting their Bumbershoot on (one of this blogger's favorite high school-era events) this weekend check out the House of the Immediate Future, a Miller Hull Partnership-designed Habitat for Humanity home erected at the foot of the Space Needle in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. Opening for tours this weekend, the super-sustainable showhome will be relocated to a affordable housing development in South Seattle at the end of Oct. Click here for my preview on the home.


Movoto chats cats with San Diego's preeminent feline-centric interior design expert, Bob Walker.


Designboom is kind enough to share the delightful, insightful four-chapter eBook "My Tiny House" from Oregon's favorite Hobbit hole-dwelling itinerant artist Dan Price.


Co.Exist attempts to find out what the hell is going on with IKEA's plans to erect yet another mini-city, this one in Hamburg, Germany. This one will most likely be similar to London's in-the-works Strand East development. Explains Ariel Schwartz: "This means there will be plentiful public areas and pedestrian walkways, cars will park at the development’s entrance in an underground garage, and only delivery trucks, buses, and emergency vehicles will be allowed to drive inside. In Strand East there will be 1,200 homes for rent, 40% of which will be large enough to accommodate families. We do know that both planned developments will be built in currently empty lots — IKEA won’t be bulldozing neighborhoods to create its home empire; it’s looking for 12 acres to build on in the German city."


Gizmag is a big fan of the Sneeoosh Cabin, an absolutely stunning low-impact retreat on the Puget Sound. Designed by Seattle-based Zeroplus Architects, the glassy structure is lifted from the forest floor by eight concrete disks as to not disturb the abundance of plants and wildlife. This is ecologically sensitive Pacific Northwest architecture at its finest. 


Flavorwire ventures into the "urban wilderness" with a solid, greenery-centric list of "10 Buildings that Grow" in locales such as Shanghai, Osaka, Paris, and São Paulo.


Stylist Home addresses how to go about one of least sexy of all home improvement tasks: cleaning your  clothes dryer ducts. Still, it's an important thing to tackle in order to avoid a clothes dryer-sparked fire and to save a few bucks.




Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Playing catch up: Fruits of their labor
This Labor Day weekend, take time to appreciate the finished works of an innovative green builder in Philly, a group of Habitat for Humanity volunteers in Seatt