Collaboration between business, law and design students from one of the world’s top universities is producing tiny houses that could revolutionize how we approach holidays, and green up tourism too. This summer, the Millennial Housing Lab launched Getaway, a rental concept for micro-homes for the millennial marketplace.
Harvard Business School student Jon Staff has racked up a resume of non-traditional living. He’s lived on a boat, in a frozen yogurt shop basement, a 26-foot-long Airstream trailer, and even did a stint of sleepovers in a Harvard library. No surprise that he was naturally drawn to the tiny house movement – a growing trend that advocates simply living in small spaces.
Last year, Staff co-founded the Millennial Housing Lab, an action lab composed of Harvard business, law and design school students with a mission to develop new housing ideas bespoke to the millennial generation (people born between the 1980s and early 2000s).
The Lab focuses on all aspects of the housing experience: architecture, neighborhood planning, financing, regulation and community-building.
Through its blog, email bulletins, and special events, the project also aims to incite vibrant conversation about millennial housing, and catalyze change in the residential building industry. Its wider goal is to incubate and launch new design-, business- and regulatory-related housing concepts. (Consider the build-your-own (anywhere!) WikiHouse we reported on last year!)
Tiny homes are everywhere. Photogenic and adorable, who hasn’t been curious what they’re like in 3-D? The differentiator with Getaway homes is that these micro-buildings are rentable. Situated on beautiful rural landscapes, they can be used as a hotel by city folks looking to escape for a digital detox, a bonding weekend with friends, a romantic anniversary, or a meditative retreat.
“Test driving” one with no long-term commitment might encourage users to adopt tiny-home practices in their regular lives.
The Boston-based business planted their first Getaway house in southern New Hampshire, and immediately began bookings. They plan on bringing Getaway units to more cities, and developing more housing ideas though the Millennial Housing Lab. Getaway houses sit on secluded, quiet land within two hours of a city. physically close enough to the city for easy access but “spiritually far” away to guarantee a refreshing recharge. All sites are leased from local property owners, putting dollars directly into the rural economies in which Getaway operates.
The houses provide the comforts of a standard home, including a comfy queen bed, and off-grid stove, toilet and shower. Rentals come with classic books and board games, barbecue grills – and the ingredients for s’mores!
Jon Staff and Pete Davis founded The Millennial Housing Lab, and designed the Getaway with Addison Godine, Wyatt Komarin, and Rachel Moranis. Go to the Getaway House website for more details on pricing and availability.