Vakgroep Psychologie, Gezondheid & Technologie

Stories of tiny house builders: Between dream and reality

 Supplementary info:

Type of assignment: BA
Internal– or external: Internal
How many students possible: 4
New data collection: Yes
Type of research: Qualitative or narrative analysis
EC: 15 EC



The tiny house movement is proposed as answer to increased housing needs combined with the acknowledgement that land and resources are scarce. In addition, proponents of tiny houses argue that it presents a way to reduce the ecological footprint, and increase housing diversity. Especially in densely populated areas, this movement holds a promise. Yet in reality many legal, organizational, ideological and mental obstacles need to be overcome to realize the dream of tiny house enthusiasts. Understanding what drives people engaged in building their own tiny house, and what keeps them motivated to realize their dream despite many obstacles is the topic of this assignment.

For this purpose, you will each interview 4 people who are in the process of realizing their tiny house. In addition, you will ask them to write a Letter from the Future where they envision what living in their tiny house means. You will analyze the letters and interviews qualitatively using an approach of your own choice. This could be a combined inductive and deductive approach, or a storyline analysis. The theoretical framework guiding your deductive analysis could for example be Ryan and Deci’s self-determination theory (basic human needs) or Schwartz’ theory of basic human values.

For this assignment, we are seeking students with the motivation to actively recruit tiny house builders to conduct (skype or real-life) interviews with them. Alternatively, you could analyze documentary material and/or YouTube films about tiny house builders which are plentiful on the internet. The challenge is then that you will have to work with the material presented and cannot ask the questions you may want to ask based on your research question and theoretical framework.


For more information about the tiny house movement, see for example:



Anneke Sools