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What is Think Big Live Little?

TBLL is the latest nadatodo® project. In its simplest form, it is a tiny house design and build incentive challenge that plugs Canadian talent to create unique and innovative home designs. This tiny concept came to me while working at Habitat for Humanity in Vancouver as its director of marketing. Rent and housing prices are sky high. How could we shift the paradigm, and live more affordable and sustainable? Over time, the project has evolved and now includes an environmental twist: to use reclaimed building materials in its construction and meet some of the City of Vancouver’s deconstruction goals as laid out in its Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. (What’s a tiny house? Tiny homes are small homes, 100 to 400 or up to 1000 square feet depending on who you talk to; they can be built on a chassis or with a foundation.)

TBLL’s main objectives are simple: to bring ingenuity to traditional homebuilding ways and to address the housing (un)affordability crisis in Canada. Later on in the ideation process, it took on another challenge: to divert construction waste from our landfills and interject these reclaimed materials into creative projects. In its latest iteration, TBLL hopes to go beyond contest and concept, and sketch out all real possibilities of small living in our urban centres. By this I mean, how can tiny homes be integrated into our existing neighbourhoods?

Think Big Live Little is currently running the think tank circuit: SFU’s innovation hub, RADIUS; and The Banff Centre’s residency program ALT/Now, focused on economic inequality as it relates to housing and other themes. As mentioned, TBLL’s focus has slightly shifted from its contest roots and expanded to include the development of innovative tiny prototypes (along with spec plans) for cities to explore in their own municipalities.

Thanks to my early network of passionate supporters, a hub of talented and willing thinkers, builders, planners, designers and architects is being formed (with financiers, developers and lawyers soon to join the conversation). Join us! Together, we will draft next steps and create the necessary literature to get city leaders thinking big and living little. Here’s to our shared success. 

Keep you posted on the journey ahead!



Think Big Live Little is officially supported by Habitat for Humanity Canada. Check out the Think Big Live Little’s RADIUS pitch. If you’re interested to join the tiny hub, send me an email.  

UPDATE! As of July 2016, Think Big Live Little is in partnership with the BC Tiny House Collective, a community-run organization for the legalization and legitimization of tiny houses across British Columbia. The collective is co-founded by Anastasia and Samantha Gambling, and is working alongside the City of Vancouver and its staff, CityStudio and several universities to examine the current barriers to tiny living in our region, and what our next steps ought to be. More on the collective and its initiatives at

Infographic on tiny houses

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