1st Edition

The Growing Trend of Living Small A Critical Approach to Shrinking Domesticities

Edited By Ella Harris, Mel Nowicki, Tim White Copyright 2023
    294 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the growing trend for housing models that shrink private living space and seeks to understand the implications of these shrinking domestic worlds. Small spaces have become big business. Reducing the size of our homes, and the amount of stuff within them, is increasingly sold as a catch-all solution to the stresses of modern life and the need to reduce our carbon footprint. Shrinking living space is being repackaged in a neoliberal capitalist context as a lifestyle choice rather than the consequence of diminishing choice in the face of what has become a long-term housing ‘crisis’. What does this mean for how we live in the long term, and is there a dark side to the promise of a simpler, more sustainable home life? Shrinking Domesticities brings together research from across the social sciences, planning and architecture to explore these issues. From co-living developments to the Tiny House Movement, self-storage units to practices of ‘de-stuffification’, and drawing on examples from across Europe, North America and Australasia, the authors of this volume seek to understand both what micro-living is bringing to our societies, and what it may be eroding


    1 Co-living Housing-as-a-Service and COVID-19: Micro-housing and Institutional Precarity.

    Tegan Bergan & Rae Dufty-Jones

    2 Shifting Domesticities in the Metropole Hotel

    Jeffrey Kruth

    3 Political Narratives of Shrinking Domesticities in Helsinki and Vienna

    Johanna Lilius, Michael Friesenecker & Maximilian Krankl

    4 Shrinking aspirations: the potential impact of Build to Rent models on housing transitions

    Daniel Durrant & Frances Brill

    5 Glamorising the materiality of ‘living small’: De-stuffocation, storage, and tiny living aesthetics

    Jen Owen

    6 Freedom or dispossession? Imaginaries of small, mobile living in the film Nomadland

    Harris, E., Nowicki, M. and White, T.

    7 Decent Homes in Compact Living? Conventional Ideals in Unconventional Contexts

    Anne Hedegaard Winther

    8 The Tiny Home Lifestyle (THL): A contemporary response to the neoliberalisation of housing

    Megan Carras

    9 Understanding tiny house sustainabilities through the lens of frictions

    Hilton Penfold., Gordon Waitt and Pauline McGuirk

    10 Meshing with Your Home: Seeking trouble in sharing dwelled spaces

    Lauren Wagner & Clemens Driessen

    11 Minimalist lifestyles: Performance, animism and desire for degrowth

    Miriam Meissner

    12 Tiny Houses and the Economics of Sufficiency: How ‘Shrinking Domesticities’ fit within the Degrowth Paradigm

    Samuel Alexander and Heather Shearer

    13 Tiny Living as an Everyday Practice of Sufficiency: Some Experiences of Tiny House Owners in Germany

    Petra Lütke & Louisa Elbracht

    14 The Tiny House Movement: Ecology, survival and inequality

    Jenny Pickerill, Adam Barker & Jingjing Wang

    15 Cluster apartments: living with less as model for lived solidarity?

    Manuel Lutz

    16 Heterotopia: A New Perspective on Female-led Tiny House Projects

    Alice Wilson



    Ella Harris is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Urban/Cultural Geography at Birkbeck, University of London, UK.

    Mel Nowicki is a Reader in Urban Geography at Oxford Brookes University, UK.

    Tim White is a undertaking a PhD in Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.