Design Finds – MicroDwell 2014

This weekend we attended the Micro Dwellings 2014 exhibit at the Shemer Art Center.  We had attended this event the last time they had it in November 2012.  The first time we went we had a great time walking through each of the dwellings and seeing the differences in the design, interiors, and materials used that each team had.  All of the builders are present so you are free to talk with them and discuss their inspirations and how they brought everything together.  We were so impressed we just had to check it out again this time.

MicroDwellings 2014

This year was a mix of fully complete units like the one pictured above and other units that showed how they were built.  The above unit was made with a few different types of salvaged wood, steel, glass, and faux grass on the “front porch” area.  This would make a great place to live, use as a guest room, or even work from.  The windows had a frosted design on them to let a lot of light into the space, but still give the privacy that would be needed if this was used as a private residence.

MicroDwellings 2014-1

Another unit (pictured above top) was set up to serve as an office.  There was a desk, sitting area, and stylish lighting inside.  Most of the furniture in this unit was from West Elm.  The unit pictured above on the bottom was a very open space.  This particular unit was built on an old bus chassis that was salvaged.  It did have on option to add sleeping arrangements.  We liked the salvaged wood design on the wall representing the Arizona flag.

MicroDwellings 2014-2

There were 15 different structures in all, from an old trailer that was converted into a basic RV like unit that can be moved anywhere you would need it to move (pictured above left), to an all steel unit meant to stay in one place that could serve as a living space complete with kitchen and bathroom (above middle).  The builder of that one actually told us they could swap out the steel with aluminum and it would be light enough to hook to a truck and transport wherever you would need just like an RV.  Another called The Cinderbox was made of burnt wood (pictured above right).

All in all it was a great exhibit.  In addition to the dwellings on display there is a MicroArt Exhibition that is featuring 18 Arizona artists as well as lectures and demonstrations.  Everything from welding and woodcutting to how to using solar energy.  You can see how they use solar panels to power a microdwelling for all your electrical needs and even see a demonstration on how to cook with solar energy.

The exhibit makes for a great afternoon outing and may even inspire you to get your own microdwelling.  I for one would like a shipping container microdwelling located on a beach somewhere.  A friend of ours wants his in the woods up north of Phoenix.  There are lots of ideas and you will be amazed at how much you can do with a unit that is 600 square feet or less.

If you are in the Phoenix area and would like to check the exhibit out you can.  The MicroDwellings will be on display through March 23rd from 10am-6pm daily.  For more information visit

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