This is the PugHug; it's a microhome that goes with you by bike. Use it for camping, or fold it up into a cart perfect for large loads.
Self-reliance and independence are key components of the design philosophy; if a part were to ever wear down, or if you ever wanted to customize your PugHug, good design shouldn't make you search for proprietary product parts off of Ebay. My goal with the PugHug is to use parts common at any hardware store, so the PugHug can be yours.
Whether headed out of town or around running errands, the PugHug makes the perfect companion. Order yours today!
The PugHug's Story
I've set out to design a home almost anyone can afford.
While working at a Community Health Center in Olympia, I saw how lack of shelter exacerbated chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes for people within the homeless community. In the Pacific Northwest, it rains a ton (as you may have heard :D) and people living in damp soggy conditions struggle on many fronts, from important documents completely soaked, to moldy coats and blankets.
At the same time, I realized how tenuous funding for shelter and housing safety nets were, and realized a working solution needed to be a financially sustainable solution. I wanted to develop a product that gives people in a vulnerable position a something that brings privacy and shelter in a small package, movable at a moment's notice. I also wanted a product that transcends communities, to make it a point of relation, rather than a symbol of stigmitization.
After months of interviewing people living both on and off the street, I was inspired to build a low-cost mobile shelter where safety and simplicity were key. Though no solution is perfect for every person, my goal is to create a microhome that any person could get a value from.
The current prototype functions completely, but its looks leave much to be desired. And that's why I'm coming to Kickstarter. Like it's namesake, the PugHug's appearances are only half the story. Here's what's in our current prototype, the Beta Pug.
Sturdy design that stands up to the weather: With a low center of gravity and simple yet strong support struts, you don't have to worry about the PugHug blowing over in a storm.
Salvaged construction: I built the PugHug out of bikes that had been thrown out. I want to select quality, well constructed parts from abandoned bikes to make each PugHug.
Easy ridin': A mount made using basic supplies from the hardware store provides a responsive and quiet experience.
An equitable product for all: I'm designing this because I think this product can do good things in communities I care about. And I believe low cost shouldn't mean low quality.
Make it your own: The exterior wall is PERFECT for your own personal mural. Whether it's salmon in a stream or something a little more abstract, the PugHug is perfect for showing your true personality.
I love what I get to create. And I think you'll like it too. Here's a peek:
High quality covers that keep you comfortable: Right now I'm using plastic tarps from Big Lots; this leaves a lot to be desired as far as shelter from the elements are concerned. In the final design, I'd like to use more rugged materials like canvas, as well as mosquito netting to keep the PugHug cabin critter free.
It's the little things: Amenities like an LED reading lamp mounted to the cabin wall and a water catchment system are the cherry on top of any camping adventure.
Because a healthy community starts with a healthy home: In the final design, I'll use touches like non-toxic paint and reclaimed wood to encourage a commitment not just to individual health, but to the health of the community.
Increased stability and streamlined design: Future designs of the PugHug incorporate drastically more stable side lips and tighter wheel connection, and I'm exploring light-weight wood options like pine to make the ride so smooth, you'll forget it's there.
Your backing helps build a better PugHug. Your money helps us to:
Space rental for construction and storage of microhomes: I plan on renting a small storage garage to use as a workshop. The Kickstarter funding covers the rental costs.
Obtain the tools needed for a quality, uniformly produced product: At minimum, this project will require the purchase or rental of a table saw and a portable sander, day to day safety equipment like work gloves and paper masks, and the materials for each PugHug Microhome or cart produced.
Perfect the design of the PugHug so you get the best quality for the lowest price: The funding allows me the ability to turn this microhome design into your favorite camping companion.
Space and storage rental options are in place and just need funding. While a 2200 dollar budget will allow for a 10x12 space through March, I'd like to go with larger space options if the Kickstarter campaign is able to raise more. Tool rental and purchasing will be done preferentially at local hardware stores, and when necessary from Home Depot. Construction will take place in West Olympia, WA, and will make use of salvaged wood and bike parts rescued from around Olympia. When salvaged wood is warped or otherwise unusable, wood will be purchased instead. Any bike parts that cannot be found through salvaged will be obtained through purchasing used bikes.
While construction has finished for the first prototype, the cart-only design is ahead of schedule and largely finalized, allowing me to produce 20 carts by early January. Each cart takes about four hours to build, and acts as the base for the rest of the microhome, if you ever wanted to expand it yourself. The microhome itself takes about 10 hours to construct currently. Blueprints for the PugHug Microhome will be ready for delivery by mid-December. By the end of 2013 backers will see the final microhome prototype, and I will have the final, full PugHug Microhome ready for delivery by February 2014.
For sticker production, I'm using StickerGiant.com. With the sticker design complete, stickers should be delievered to your door within two weeks of project funding (before the end of November). While stickers and blueprints are unlimited, to make sure people receive their carts and full microhomes in time, I've decided to limit the quantity available to 20 for each. This will allow me to not only finish your products on time, but gives me space to produce a more polished product for delivery.
Risks and challenges
The major challenge for my project will be the logistics of getting a workshop with enough room for storage and construction of multiple Microhomes. Your support will help meet that challenge by allowing for a decently sized space and tools that can hold up after dozens of hours of construction.
Having worked on hundreds of homes and spent hours in the woodshop, I have the experience, as well as people I can rely on, to construct quality microhomes. I've honed my skills working home construction. Public Health is my passion; my toxicology and material hazard experience allows me to select materials that won't pose any toxic hazards. Additionally my time in the field has given me several contacts in case issues beyond my experience ever come up, including people I see on a weekly basis. In addition to my own competence with construction and the background design research, there's a wide base of support within the community for manufacturing and advice.
Finally, if any challenges arise, I'll communicate clearly through the project blog (PugHugProjects.tumblr.com) and by directly emailing backers.
BLUEPRINTS IN CONICAL COLLECTOR CASE
Want to build your own custom PugHug? Get ahead of the game before I release the blueprints to the general public. One set of blueprints to the PugHug printed on quality paper sealed in a cylinder tied with blue ribbon, delivered to you before Christmas. Give your loved one a fun and rewarding project they'll take pride in for years to come.
PUGHUG BIKE CART
PugHug Bike Cart, minus fold out walls and other features. This is for the utilitarian looking for a light, cheap solution to making the most out of their bike. Price includes shipping.
COMPLETE PUGHUG MICROHOME, WATER BOTTLE, AND STICKER
Microhome includes water catchment system with tap, water resistant canvas cover, back up tarp, and your choice of 6 paint jobs (see full details to left). Price includes shipping.