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Saturday, November 23, 2013

What is home? And how do we find it? One couple’s attempt to built a “tiny house” with no building experience raises questions about sustainability, good design, and the changing American Dream.

"The size of the average American home has more than doubled since the 1950s, but just how big does a home need to be? A Boulder, Colo., couple decided to put that question to the test when they started building their very tiny home -- 124 sq. ft. to be exact -- back in 2011. With no building experience, but with open hearts and minds, Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller started to build their dream home. They documented their surprising journey in a new film called "TINY: A Story About Living Small," which premieres on Al Jazeera America this Sunday.  

Says Mueller: "One thing that we've learned from making our film about the Tiny House movement is that the American Dream is changing. The recent housing crisis and recession have made it harder for many people to attain the financial stability required for a big house in the suburbs and a car in the driveway, that old model of the American Dream. On top of that, we've found that many people in our generation are beginning to question and re-evaluate that old American Dream and are opting instead for lifestyles that are more flexible and less tied-down to one particular place. As a society, we're in a place of transition. I think that many people -- whether by necessity or by choice -- are learning that quality of life isn't necessarily tied to how big our houses are or how much stuff we own, but about the experiences we have and the quality of our relationships. "

(See a teaser trailer of the documentary at the above link, or go to