photo: Walden Pond

My name is Ben MacAdam. I’m working as a freelance designer/web developer, occasional painter, and currently building a tiny studio.

In 2014 I found myself re-evaluating elements of a work space and my somewhat stationary lifestyle. When I came across a book at a Connecting for Change event, I started getting ideas for a mobile studio. I have rented and bartered studio spaces in the past, but it wasn’t until I came across this book that I had the notion of building one myself. I realized I didn’t necessarily need to own property to build and own a shelter.

The book was Lloyd Kahn’s “Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter”. In it I saw people that were simplifying their lifestyles to have more time to do what they enjoyed and many were doing this on wheels. I identified with the desire to travel, to learn more about building and sustainability, and own a unique space to work. Not too long after, I started considering the “tiny studio” as an attainable project.

Tiny Homes Simple Shelter by Lloyed Kahn

“Tiny Homes Simple Shelter” by Lloyed Kahn

Some background…

I remember creating an assortment of outdoor forts at a young age. Some in trees, some carved out of tall snowbanks, but my favorite was built using wood from a nearby construction site of the Route 2 bridge in Concord MA. (These wooden boxes I also reclaimed for skateboarding obstacles). I laid them standing out around a large tree in the woods next to our house. The dream was to build a skatepark surrounding the fort, but I never got that far. The Tiny Studio will likely have some skateboarding aspects such as a rail or ledge that folds down or slides out from the sides to keep the dream alive.

Another fort, at a younger age, was under the back of my family’s pull-out couch in the basement. There was a way to pull-up the mattress bar by the headboard and squeeze thru so that the inside of the couch was enough space to spend an evening. I had in there a small lamp, action-figures, snacks, coloring books, a walkman and a sleeping bag. This may have been the first time I discovered I liked living small. I liked being able to control the small, intentional, environment and be surrounded by things I enjoyed. I feel in some ways the Tiny Studio will be likened to an adult fort.

Henry Thoreau Cabin

Henry David Thoreau’s Cabin site at Walden Pond

…I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life…
– Thoreau

I grew up just a 12 minute walk from Walden Pond. Henry Thoreau’s cabin was on my radar at a young age and I have to admit it never seemed that small to me, but rather appropriate for one person. I’ve noticed Thoreau is a common influence among others that have built small shelters. I spent much of my time in those woods…walking to swim after skateboarding, biking the hills, jogging the trails, and snowboarding the hips made naturally from glacier developments.

Now turning 31 I feel this project will encourage me to spend more time in nature, rediscover my shared appreciations of living simply, facilitate more balance in my life, as well as travel the U.S for inspiration and adventure.