The small -- tiny, even -- house movement serves society on multiple levels. Because the structures take up less space, they also use fewer resources. On top of that, the minimalism demanded by living in such limited square footage forces inhabitants to have considerably fewer belongings than their counterparts in homes five times their stature. The average size of a new, single-family home in the United States is around 2,500 square feet; the average tiny house comes in under 500 square feet -- with some states mandating a minimum of 220 square feet to adhere to building codes.
Despite assumptions, the architecture and design of small homes varies. Some are fashioned from recycled and found materials; some come on wheels; and others utilize shipping containers. Documentary filmmaker Christopher Smith used his Tiny: A Story About Living Small project to explore his own and others' process of going small.
Here are some examples of tiny houses from around the world.