“Small is Beautiful” is a documentary about the TH (Tiny House) movement, the latest underground trend in housing and real estate in the U.S. In the next few years, though, TH could go mainstream thanks to a growing online community that shares information about what’s on the TH market and how to actually build a micro-homes yourself. The average floor size of newly built homes in North America is over 200 sq. meters, but the TH movement proposes downsizing families of four to 18.5-sq.-meter wheeled homes — that’s the standard size of a single-person apartment in Tokyo.
I’d like to take a moment to bask in the glory of smallness, which is — let’s face it — every Japanese person’s birthright. For a long time we were taught our tiny living spaces were a crying shame in the global scheme of things, but hey! Now they’re saying micro-homes are fashionable, so there. If only my grandmother — who shed tears of pity when she stepped into my first apartment, which consisted of 5.5 tatami mats and a bathroom the size of a lunch plate — was around to see this.