UO architect offers big tips for those interested in living small

Tiny houses

Tiny homes have been sprouting across the country in recent years, and Eugene hasn’t been left out of the trend.

Michael Fifield, a professor of architecture at the UO, gave tips on tiny living at a workshop on backyard housing held by nonprofit SquareOne Villages on Oct. 22. The key to making the most out of a tiny home, according to Fifield, is value every square inch of space available.

Surfaces, even walls, can have multiple uses, he said. Fifield advises creating the illusion of space through the strategic placement of windows and mirrors.

Tiny houses make for affordable homes for first-time buyers and pragmatic downsizing for older homeowners. They can provide a source of rental income that might only take up a quarter of a backyard. For some, they can be the line between home owning and homelessness.

For more, see “Eugene workshop on tiny homes draws big interest” in The Register-Guard.

Fifield began his work at the UO in 1997. With his attention on the city of Eugene, he created a study of low-rise, middle-density housing alternatives and collaborated with fellow UO professor Brook Muller on a study of the city’s “alleyscape.” At the College of Design’s School of Architecture and Environment, Fifield researches topics in housing, community development and urban design.