Silent But Deadly, or Ten Years Later

I’m quite surprised that my blogging career has lasted ten years this month. I was also about ten years ago that I started working my way toward the west coast, by joining the large design software company, Autodesk. Many things have changed since then. I started initially blogging about technology in architecture, specifically BIM and computational design – which you can always find back at It’s really dry stuff. Certainly not as much fun as melting steel and charred wood siding. That’s beside the point.

What I really want to share with you is this amazing exposure BentoBox has had recently. I’ve joined the professional tiny housers circuit – apparently. Even though my house is far from complete, the community has been very kind to me and supportive of this idea. Apparently, it doesn’t suck. Some days I feel it might. Today, I’m on top of the world.

For a tiny house enthusiast, I certainly say the word ‘huuuuuge’ often. You’ll just have to listen. Here’s the podcast of all podcasts. Even if you don’t like them, give it a listen. It’s great for any activity – gardening, commuting, sitting on the pot. Oh, and that isn’t the only drug reference, so if you’re easily offended, heed my warning. OK, it’s not really that bad.

What’s really amazing and serendipitous? I am on the episode following Jay Shafer (episode 46), who many consider the founding father of the modern tiny house movement, and who’s newspaper article I first read in 1999 and was immediately hooked. Yeah, I’ve wanted to follow this path for a long time, and now it’s actually happening. Give a listen. I hope you enjoy!

Oh, one footnote – I didn’t name the episode, however it makes me chuckle. Good advice when in tiny enclosed spaces: always have a vent running. And you can feel free to call me “The Notorious SDB” as Derek “Deek” Diedricksen has dubbed me. I have no idea what was on his mind at the time.

Visit for more info, the ability to subscribe on several platforms, including iTunes, as well as more episodes. It was a lot of fun recording this. And if you want to hear my very first podcast from back in the day, nearly two years ago, check out this post: Oh, how times change.

How Tiny is that House?

Tardis TetrisI’ve had great support since launch of the site yesterday. Thank you all for your encouragement, kind words and questions. I’ll try to answer a common one in this post.

What size is a shipping container anyway? Well, that is a complicated answer, as there are many variations in the dimensions one can find. Let’s just stick with the standard sizes. I use that word standard carefully as these are, in fact, ISO Standards. That’s important so the stack neatly on cargo ships, truck trailers and rail cars for their long journey across sea and land. The two lengths measured on the exterior are 20 feet and 40 feet. they both come in 8 feet wide and 8 1/2 feet tall. There are special variations, named High-Cube (HC) – most commonly found on the 40 foot long units which are 1 foot taller.

As I’ve been researching, and furiously sketching (more on that later in the week), the standard lengths seem to be the easiest to acquire in the United States. In the UK, there seems to be a good number of 24, 30, 44, even 56 foot long shipping containers. Although most suppliers will customize the unit for a price, splicing together bits to make what you want. 10 feet? Umm… even I have my limits.

As I plan to pull this behind a pickup truck, the 20 seems the right length. One hundred and sixty square feet. Essentially the whole thing will be a custom cabinet, with lots of little compartments and fold out furnishings. Yes, 8×20 is nearly the size of a parking space typically found anywhere, except Seattle. Many things can fit in parking spaces besides a big SUV. Take, for instance these images.


You must think I am totally off my rocker. Maybe I am.

I admit, that does seem awefully small. I will likely seek ways of extending that footprint when in the parked position. More on that in a future post. If I can eek out 200 square feet, then it will truly be ‘bigger on the inside’. If I’m really lucky, it will be blue – and I’ll be seeking a custom trailer license plate.

{Photos above: Containart Pavilion by Shigeru Ban, 2008 – Architectural installation, built with 150 shipping containers and recyclable paper tubes (Tetris, photo by Sanctu on Flickr  Collage of some examples of the 2013 Park(ing) Day events  from}