Portable Living

Photo courtesy of Kasita

Finding the right apartment can be challenging. Cost is usually the main consideration, followed closely by location, amenities, and size. Move to a new city and the search starts all over again. But Jeff Wilson has come up with a solution. It’s called Kasita, and it’s a game-changer in affordable, sustainable living.

Wilson lived in a—not joking— converted dumpster in Austin, Texas in 2014, prior to co-founding Kasita. He was experimenting, trying to find the smallest space someone could comfortably live in. During that time, Wilson discovered that traditional home designs weren’t working anymore.

“I had a pretty good life in those 33 square feet,” Wilson says. “By going smaller, I was in the hottest part of my city. I had low rent. I could have my own place, and I was mobile. I could pick it up and move it around.”

Wilson recognized that millennials wanted affordable, sustainable, portable housing but didn’t necessarily want to live in a dumpster. He left his university job, partnered with a real estate developer, and hired an industrial designer. Together, they created a 270 square-foot ‘smart apartment.’ Though the space may be small, the team didn’t sacrifice elegance and comfort. Each pod’s design focuses on a sleek, clean aesthetic. The uber-practical layout keeps the apartment cozy, not cramped. Plus, the pod is embedded with high-tech functionality. Simply say the words and Kasita will roll out the bed or adjust the temperature.

Kasita homes are all the same size, so pods can be easily transferred from one building to another. Imagine a game of Jenga, except the whole complex won’t fall down when a unit is removed. Users request a move via an app. Then a truck transports the home to another Kasita frame down the block or across the country.

As healthy as a Kasita home may be for a millennial’s wallet (rent prices are estimated to be about half a studio apartment’s), the pods are equally as healthy for the earth. “We are taxing our planet,” Wilson says.

“The average new American home is more than 2,400 square feet. All the energy and water that’s necessary to build large homes is putting taxes on the environment that it’ll no longer be able to withstand.”

Right now, Kasita is being developed in Austin, Texas, but the brand plans to expand to other markets. “I see the company in cities all over the world,” Wilson says. “But even more than that, we want folks around the world—of all different income levels—to be able to live in a place with dignity.”

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