Date of Submission
Bachelor of Architecture
M. Saleh Uddin
In recent times, Tiny houses have become very popular and “the vast majority of tiny homes, 86%, are THOWs, or tiny houses on wheels” (Summers 8). Tiny houses on wheels often employ systems to allow for off-grid uses (such as solar panels or rainwater collection) but usually have a small capability to store fresh foods, which ties the user back to the grid through frequent store visits or hinders them in food desert areas. Food deserts are areas where low-income individuals need easy access to food retailers or supermarkets. In 2019, “17% of Americans were considered low-income and had little to no access to supermarkets,” according to the USDA.
Challenges regarding food access can be combated through self-sustaining, small-scale housing can be improved using an urban gardening technique called hydroponics. This technique employs the same base needs of a human being - light, oxygen, nutrients, and water - while reducing the amount of water needed and absolving the need of soil to grow food/crops. This technique can also be designed to be placed vertically and take up less space, allowing for ease of transportation, food security, and access to a hyper-localized garden; you will know what goes into your food and where it comes from. The specific subset of Hydroponics I am interested in is Aeroponics which mists the water onto the plants. This uses the least amount of water by being applied directly to plant’s roots. As an architectural component this technique will be turned in to a modular design that can be implemented into a living wall system
Through designing and creating small-scale housing project (a tiny house on wheels), I will seek to integrate a hydroponics system to improve quality of life and off grid capabilities. Through research and experimentation, I will design a living wall hydroponics system that a layperson can put together, understand, and afford. The house will also comprise basic needs such as a bedroom, living/dining area, kitchen, and bathroom. The design will fit into a standard parking lot (8’ wide x 18’ long) to allow for more accessible transportation and will feature affordable passive systems such as gravity fed plumbing and air ventilation/ circulation. Because it will be on wheels and be transportable, the design will be technically site less but will focus on use in North America.