Videos

The Tiny House Movement, Taken to Its Logical Extreme

Portlandia sends up our quest for ever-smaller digs.

Image
Portlandia

I’ve often written about the cottage lifestyle, featuring small homes usually set around a common.  It makes a ton of sense for some parts of today’s downsizing market.  Carried to an extreme, “tiny houses” provide minimal space for people who don’t need or want much, in exchange for ridiculously low prices that enable owners to maintain a low-budget lifestyle or spend their dough on something else.

The video below is a wicked send-up of the movement by the Portlandia crew, which continually caricatures and skewers the oh-so-sensitive and -sustainable lifestyle in and around Portland Oregon, with a wicked combination of gentle affection and stinging satire.  Like so many creative comedies on cable TV these days (Lisa Kudrow’s The Comeback and Web Therapy; Laura Dern’s Enlightenment; Larry Davis’s Curb Your Enthusiasm), Portlandia makes you laugh and cringe at the same time.  It’s a sketch-based series in which every sketch stars the same two actors, Saturday Night Live cast member Fred Armisen and lead guitarist/singer for Wild Flag, Carrie Brownstein.  It is shown on the Independent Film Channel (IFC).

Enjoy!

This post originally appeared on the NRDC's Switchboard blog, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

  • Kaid Benfield is the director of the Sustainable Communities and Smart Growth program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, co-founder of the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, and co-founder of Smart Growth America. More
    Kaid Benfield is the director of the Sustainable Communities and Smart Growth program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, co-founder of the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, and co-founder of Smart Growth America. He is the author or co-author of Once There Were Greenfields (NRDC 1999), Solving Sprawl (Island Press 2001), Smart Growth In a Changing World (APA Planners Press 2007), and Green Community (APA Planners Press 2009). In 2009, Kaid was voted one of the "top urban thinkers" on Planetizen.com, and he was named one of "the most influential people in sustainable planning and development" in 2010 by the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. He blogs at NRDC's Switchboard.