The Tata House – Small and Beautiful

Average living space per person is growing proportional to rising affluence. While for example an average Swiss could do with 33m2 in 1980, he or her required notable 10m3 more in the year 2000. That basically means that even without considering population growth, Switzerland now features a much more resources and fertile soils intensive living style, which basically wipes out much of the achieved efficiency gains in terms of energy use. As a reaction to that development, there is now a US movement called tiny-houses, whose adherents live in smallish (starting from 10m2) but cleverly structured and fully equipped houses. A home this size certainly helps withstanding the temptation of a consuming-based society and refraining from getting these incredibly cheap 51th pair of shoes, perfectly color-matching the bargain 46th trousers.

So, while a simple life in rich countries – with the possible exception of housing-bubble-victims – is mostly a voluntary life-style decision, it is an economic necessity for poor people in developing countries. Billions are constrained of living in small and inadequate housings all over the world. Now, Indians giant Tata corporation aims at these two very different customers segments. For 700US$, the value of an iPad, ever-poor Indians and newly-poor or slimming-down US-Americans can get a 20m2 home. Built in one week out of coconut or jute fibers, Tata’s houses are planned to last for twenty years. In any way, the potential for improvement of the livelihood – either having a house at all or getting rid of the space for all the unnecessary things in rich people’s lifes – is huge.

Source: Die Zeit

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