Design Challenge

Design and build the most affordable and ecologically designed tiny house on the planet that is designed specifically for the Southern California semiarid/mediterranean climatic zone.

Traveling Educational Tour

Once complete the winning tiny house will become part of a traveling educational tour promoting awareness of the Tiny Footprint Challenge. The tiny house tour and staff will travel up and down the west coast sharing ecologic inspiration at schools, conferences, festivals and events.


Our vision is to create the most healthy, happy, beautiful and regenerative world possible via intelligent design and forward thinking sustainable community development.


Eco-Design Challenge participants will consist of students from the NewSchool of Architecture & Woodbury University in San Diego.


The site will be in San Diego County on the property of a local nonprofit environmental education center that we partner with for this project.  After the educational tour is complete the tiny house will return to it’s original local site where it will be lived in for 1 year by a project intern to monitor the daily temperatures and comfort levels through all 4 seasons.  This data will help inform adaptations and modifications to the design for future replications.  After completion of the educational tour and 1 year monitoring phase the tiny home will become owned by the partnering nonprofit and will turn into intern housing for the organization.

Design & Construction

The students will be mentored by a local architecture firm during the initial programming and design phases of the project.  The architecture firm will be chosen via a collaborative design challenge campaign with Houzz.  The construction of the winning design will be lead by a local builder in conjunction with community volunteer workdays including students, parents, professors and affiliate organizations.  

Open Source – all designs and plans will be shared freely with the world in the spirit of education, collaboration and co-creation!

Design Council & Jury

The design council will be composed of professional leaders in the fields of architecture, construction and urban planning.  The council will assist in developing the specific design parameters as well as judging the challenge.

Design Parameters

specific details will be informed by the Design Council…

Building Materials

  • x% – repurposed/recycled materials
  • x% with x sustainability rating (rating system to be determined by design council)
  • x% – natural building methods
  • durability/longevity rating
  • maintenance rating

Ecologic Design

  • grey water system
  • rainwater catchment system
  • high efficiency appliances
  • utilization of renewable energy
  • natural daylighting
  • passive thermal design (heating & cooling)
  • utilization of appropriate technology
  • integration of food production system
  • integration of composting system
  • highly efficient insulation rating

Local Earth Villages

The winning design will also be included in the open-source community development plans for Local Earth Villages.  The Local Earth Villages will serve as innovative societal models for urban planning and sustainable community development.  We will be developing the 1st prototype Living Cluster in Southern California.


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