A great build over at instructables.com
My middle school class designed and built a basic prototype for a house made of pallets. The pallets are for the basic wall structure, and other materials can be used as sheathing, the floor, roof, etc. With a little imagination the builder can fill in the gaps.
One inspiration was Alexander Saunder’s op-ed piece in the New York Times about helping victims of a 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. His piece “Give Them Shelter ” suggested buying garden sheds from Sam’s Club en mass and dropping them into isolated regions. It is an interesting idea.
We also used several sites dedicated to a “Tiny House” movement, which we first saw in a local piece “Stuck in Vermont “. Tiny houses are houses about ten-feet by ten-feet and intended to be lived in (windows, loft beds, water and the like). There are many other sites dedicated to the movement. This movement, in turn, was inspired by Thoreau and Walden , which we read excerpts from. Many of these sources stressed simplicity and self-reliance. They also dovetailed with groups looking to solve the problems of homelessness and the environment.