Texas na­tive JEFF WIL­SON spent a YEAR liv­ing in a DUMP­STER… and re-emerged with an IDEA to REV­O­LU­TIONISE hous­ing.

It’s not ev­ery day you meet some­one who vol­un­tar­ily spent a year liv­ing in a dump­ster. As en­vi­ron­men­tal stud­ies pro­fes­sor and dean at Hus­tonTil­lot­son Univer­sity in Austin, Texas, Jeff Wil­son wanted to push the lim­its of how much im­pact he had on the Earth. So he moved into a struc­ture that was around one per cent of the size of the av­er­age new home in the US. It was “about 33 square feet” (three square me­tres) and yes, it was an ac­tual dump­ster, al­beit spruced up and so­lar-pow­ered. Un­sur­pris­ingly, liv­ing, sleep­ing and eat­ing there for 365 days gave Jeff a lot of time to re­flect.

“One night, as I was ly­ing in my dump­ster about to fall asleep, I came to the re­al­i­sa­tion that life in a dump­ster was not ac­tu­ally as bad as I thought it’d be,” he says. “And I be­gan to think about the things that were bet­ter about my life when liv­ing on less. I spent more time out­doors. I had hun­dreds of dol­lars left af­ter pay­ing rent – [more] than I nor­mally would have had left. I owned my stuff, it didn’t own me. And by liv­ing small, all that stuff came about.”

He be­gan thinking about pos­si­ble so­lu­tions that could solve the larger hous­ing cri­sis. “I knew that so­lu­tion had to be small. It had to be in­no­va­tive. It had to be de­signed in a dif­fer­ent way, and it had to be full of tech­nol­ogy. And that was when I came to the ini­tial idea about Ka­sita.” >

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