The Growing Trend of Living Small : A Critical Approach to Shrinking Domesticities book cover
1st Edition

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

ISBN 9780367764463
Published January 31, 2023 by Routledge
294 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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

Table of Contents


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


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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.