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Design and Build a Tiny-House Model


The tiny-house movement is sweeping the country! Explore how and why people are building houses that require a fraction of the space of a traditional home, and then create a model of your own tiny-house design.

Students will learn about architecture, social responsibility and community as they envision and design their own tiny houses. They will use recycled and found materials to build scale models of their houses. We will explore concepts including sustainability, functionality and how to incorporate natural light into a house design. Students will practice math skills as they scale their models and workforce skills as they complete their projects within time constraints. To refine their communication skills, students will present their tiny houses to the class. The course offers an inspiring introduction for students interested in architecture and sustainable design.

What You Will Learn


Explore what a tiny house is, how it benefits society and what design features it needs in different environments.

  • Gain an understanding of the ideas inspiring the tiny-house movement.
  • Understand what design features will allow tiny houses to withstand challenging environments.
  • Build scale models of tiny houses using paper, cardboard and found materials.
  • Envision a community for a neighborhood in Mexicali built entirely of natural and waste materials available at the site.
  • Design an Accessory Dwelling Unit for San Diego neighborhoods to help address the housing crisis.
  • Explore how we can make our cities better and more affordable through tiny living.
  • Gain presentation experience by sharing your tiny house design with the class and discussing its features.

Return to the Sally Ride Science Junior Academy website here.

Note: Upon successful enrollment of a section, students will receive a confirmation email from our Student Services team. This email will include a link to an authorization form that is required to be completed within 72-hours of enrollment. 

In response to COVID-19 health guidelines, we have restructured our in-person Junior Academy workshops as online courses. Contact us at if you have questions.

Course Number: DSGN-90002
Credit: 1.50 unit(s)