We love talking to people about tiny homes in every part of the world. It’s such a fun way to connect! Today we have a very special guest, Giulia Fasoli. She is going to tell us all about her experience with tiny homes in Italy!
When did we start talking about tiny houses in Italy? The discovery of this world took place thanks to the TV program "Tiny House Nation", included in the Italian television programming in about 2015. In the meantime the Tiny House Movement developed worldwide; however, tiny houses became popular in Italy only in 2016/2017.
My name is Giulia Fasoli and I am an Italian architect. The beginning in the “tiny house world”, in my case, started with my Master degree’s dissertation in Architecture in 2016, along with my friend and roommate Francesca Adami. We decided to design a tiny house as a final graduation project. We studied the concept of home, the choice of a nomadic or permanent life, how the movement was born in America and how it was developing in Europe.
P.A.N.G.E.A. TINY HOUSE was born, the acronym for Piccola Abitazione Nomade Guscio Eco-Ambientale i.e. small nomadic home with an eco-friendly shell, a micro house on wheels, fit for 2 people, with high energy efficiency and with all the comforts of a "standard" house in just 20 square meters.
We wanted to emphasize the off-grid and sustainable aspect of these houses. In a constantly evolving world, to reduce pollution and to impact less on the territory is a matter of urgency.
We presented our ideas to professors and colleagues, and then, through a blog created in 2017, we started talking about tiny houses to Italian people. It was important for us to highlight the characteristics of a home to promote downsizing, to change our approach and to try a new lifestyle.
To promote the P.A.N.G.E.A. with local and European producers, we started attending caravan’s exhibition by introducing the tiny houses that were still mostly unknown. Another passion of mine has always been campers and vans, which is why I already knew some "mobile home" solutions. The transition to tiny houses was easy, and I fell madly in love.
We met other people who had become fond of tiny houses; we got and keep in touch with the German movement of tiny houses, the "Tiny House University" a group from Berlin. During some events in Milan and Rome, we met people who were building their own tiny house, and other women who had written their design dissertations with a micro-house project: a young and creative group with many ideas and original tiny house resolutions. Micro houses designed to live freely, single or couple, or even as a solution for housing emergencies in case of natural disasters.
In 2018, the Tiny houses' topic had been discussed at various fairs and events in the centre-north of the country. On these occasions, I gathered the contacts of the tiny house movement fans, and with my colleague all we decided to create a working group for the Italian "tiny house movement".
In this group, the different experiences of architects, designers, engineers and private citizens, plus the contribution of carpenters and companies, have generated many opportunities for reflection. It has opened the debate for this sector in our country.
The average Italian housing is around 100 sq m, but the economic crisis has led many families to have to choose smaller houses. The new buildings include apartments of 30, 40, 50 and 60 sq m in size which for the American average are "small houses".
The difference between these apartments and tiny houses is in the use of space and in the possibility of moving around with your own house. Being an architect I was very fascinated by the design of micro spaces, the use of natural and recycled materials.
For this reason, since 2019, with a small group of people I lead we are structuring the guidelines of the Italian Tiny House Movement.
On my social channels I promote tiny houses and I explain how they can be build, in order to do this, I keep in touch with carpenters and builders, because I firmly believe that tiny houses are a great opportunity, which should be seized.
Building a tiny house in Italy is not very expensive, but young people are not allowed to build their own home, especially since you always have to rely on a builder and, apart from the interiors, for the Italian regulations you cannot build anything by yourself. As a designer I am simplifying projects as much as possible to make them more accessible and I am studying the laws to make tiny houses legal, as to per people live inside them.
For now, some solutions of micro houses can be seen in campsites or tourist villages, where there are three houses or cabins. However rents are often very high, so those who can afford this experience are just well-off people.
The goal of our association ”Living Tiny Italia” is to spread the movement of tiny houses, make them more accessible and to make the community grow. I am looking forward to see tiny house villages, and perhaps to organize fairs like the ones I have seen in the U.S.. Maybe I will have to go there to get inspiration and then invite you all to Europe? In my opinion Tiny Houses have united the world, and it would be nice to create a collaborative worldwide network to exchange experiences, with the philosophy a "tiny house is big dreams" in mind.
In our opinion, the fundamental points of a tiny house undoubtedly are:
• Sustainability: Natural or recycled materials, renewable energies to be used.
• Economic accessibility: for everyone, young or old people, of any social class.
• Advanced mobility: to move with your home, so to live free, respecting the places where you stop and their rules.
• Energetic autonomy: to live off-grid, surrounded by nature or in city, to be zero footprint impact.
• Ease of construction: to collaborate with carpenters to build a personal and original tiny house, and to have the possibility to decorate personally your home.
I believe that choosing a minimalist and environmentally friendly life can be good for our planet.
It is sad to think that people all over the world are united only by misfortunes, like the terrible pandemic of Covid19.
I believe the world of tiny houses, albeit on a small scale, can bring together peoples under one common desire, to be happy and to have a simple and quiet life.
By Giulia Fasoli
Web site: www.giuliafasoli.com