Is your tiny house furnished with everything you’d find in a conventional home?
Leonardo Di Chiara: Yes, it has nine square meters that include a separate bathroom of nearly one square meter. I have a kitchen with room for up to six people. I have a double bed. Tables and chairs are hidden in the walls. It’s like a house in the form of a Swiss army knife. There’s a lot to discover. One cabinet contains a ladder that lets me climb up to the roof and enjoy a splendid view of the city. That’s a very important point – how to create variation in the smallest possible space.
Why precisely nine square meters? Why did you limit yourself to that amount?
Leonardo Di Chiara: Nine square meters are a lower limit in real estate law. A room has to be at least that size to be legally designated a bedroom. I wanted to show that you can do much more with that official minimum space. I want to draw politicians’ attention to this outdated 1975 regulation and get them to change it. New technologies have been developed since then. We can live in smaller spaces.
Did you build the house all by yourself or did you get help from partners?
Leonardo Di Chiara: I worked together with many different people. In looking for specialists, I walked through my home town and asked 40 companies about products and materials. About 80 percent of the components in my house, from the trailer to the kitchen utensils, come from external partners. I was less interested in getting sponsoring than in knowledge transfer and expertise. For example, I connected the refrigerator producer with another company that could optimize the product for a nomadic way of life.
Do you think this form of urban life can be a model for the future?
Leonardo Di Chiara: I think tiny houses are a good option for many people, but not for the entire society. To live this way, you have to change your life in a way that doesn’t appeal to everyone. We’re going through major social shifts in terms of digital connectivity and mobility. These developments will have a huge impact on life in cities and in the countryside.