Professor Dumpster Goes From a Dump Home to a Smarthome — And You Can Too!

Last year we shared a few stories about Professor Dumpster, the Huston-Tillotson University professor who lived behind a women’s dormitory in a converted dumpster. The East Austin university was cool with this, and some of their students took turns sleeping in the dumpster as a way to study ecological living.

When we last reported on Jeff Wilson, aka Professor Dumpster, he was launching a couchsurfing project where he would spend 99 nights sleeping on people’s couches and asking them about their lives. That project sounded like the kind of dud that had been done a hundred times before, and the official project website makes it appear as if Wilson only spent seven nights on couches before abandoning the dream.

But now he’s finally had an idea that I can get behind. It’s called Kasita.

I’m assuming that Kasita is some kind of play on “little casa,” or small home, because that’s exactly what it is: a 208 square foot home that modifies itself at your command, moving and shifting furniture to create living space, work space, and sleeping space as needed.

Seriously. Watch the video. It looks really cool. (Also, there’s an in-unit washer/dryer. I’m sold.)

The other big gamechanger with Kasita is that the homes are designed to be moved from city to city and stacked in available apartment structures. Yes, that might sound a little Ready Player One, with its piles of mobile homes balanced precariously on each other, but on the other hand — you never have to move. Your home can travel with you, wherever work or life takes you.

Kasita plans to launch in Austin in 2016, and Living in a Shoebox points out one more selling point:

Through partnerships with local entities, Kasita will rent units at about half the market rate of a studio apartment. In Downtown Austin, that’s about $600 a month.

There are obviously a few drawbacks to living in a Kasita: it’s only big enough for you, for starters. I’m also curious whether people will be able to own their Kasitas outright or whether they’ll only be available for rent. It would be interesting to see a Kasita where you could add rooms (or just stack on another Kasita) as your family and life grew, and where you could eventually own your own home and be able to take it wherever you go.

But so far the Kasita passes my “would I live in that?” test. Does it pass yours?

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