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Brief Published: 18 Jun 2018

Tiny Off-Grid Holiday Homes Tap Micro-Living Trend

The A45 micro-cabin by Bjarke Ingels Group

A rising number of consumers are banding together in essentialist communities, with the shared desire for a more intentional, minimalist way of living. New York start-up Klein is set to appeal to these consumers with its affordable, self-powered micro-cabins that can be erected in remote locations within weeks.

The company lets people go online to choose and customise sustainable houses designed by architects from around the world. Within six months of ordering, their micro-cabin will be installed in any location in two weeks. Currently available for pre-order, its first prototype is the A45 – a 13-foot-long wood and glass cabin designed by Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group.

Rising real-estate prices and construction costs make it increasingly difficult to own a holiday home. Klein hopes to change this, with planned prices for the houses ranging from $50,000 to $300,000.

The smart idea chimes with the Swedish ethos of lagom – meaning "not too much, not too little", which is inspiring people around the world to enjoy the bare necessities.

"We're seeing more people opting for the tiny life, eschewing larger, family-sized homes for the simplicity of smaller houses," says Kate Johnson, senior editor of Consumer Lifestyle at Stylus. "These so-called 'tiny housers' choose to downsize due to environmental and financial concerns, as well as the desire for more time and freedom."

Such micro dwellings also allow users to reconnect with the natural world – a key consumer desire we explored in Nature Embracers and further unpacked in our A/W 19/20 Design Directions Essence report.