Tiny houses differ from McMansions in their size but perhaps also in another feature: a lack of TVs and other modern media technologies.
As I browsed the pages of both company’s full color, Robb Report-quality catalogs, one thing really stood out: In no picture of a fully furnished room did I see a single television. That can’t be a coincidence.
These are not the “Jewel Box” new homes filled with automation and electronics Gordon Gekko and his minions are supposedly building as all Baby Boomers are forced to downsize. Jewel Boxes? More like thumb drives if we are making an accurate size comparison.
There are clearly challenges to designing relevant A/V, home theater, whole house entertainment/convenience and security for a tiny home. Multi-purpose structures and thoughtful use of hydraulics just begin the scratch the surface. An exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York has a full size working model of a mini apartment that shows all sorts of folding and sliding stuff including a television. It almost looks like two different apartments, literally day and night.
This could suggest tiny houses are not just about having smaller houses: it is part of a larger lifestyle package away from consumerism that includes restricting television consumption. However, these two things don’t necessarily have to go together: tiny house or micro-apartment dwellers may have strong interests in different media including streaming TV and video games. I would suspect many tiny house owners have a laptop, tablet, and/or smartphone but I would also guess they don’t want their small homes to be dominated by things like large TVs that are often the focal points of social spaces in McMansions.