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Kirsten Dirksen
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Television producer-turned-online vlogger, Kirsten Dirksen is co-founder of faircompanies.com, a news/blog/video site focused on simple living.

Before moving to Barcelona, Spain where she's now married to faircompanies co-founder Nicolás Boullosa, Dirksen was a tv producer/shooter/editor for U.S. networks like MTV, Oxgyen, Sundance Channel and Travel Channel. Dirksen holds a B.A. in economics from Harvard.

Blog Entries by Kirsten Dirksen

Nights at the Museum: Family Lives in Art Gallery (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 9:43 AM

Artist Omar Sherzad learned about woodworking from his father. When he opened a workshop/gallery in Barcelona, he wanted his own children to learn from his work as well. So he installed beds in the walls.

Today, the family spend every other week sleeping in the gallery space (they alternate with...

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Indoor Cabins: Treehouse & Tiny Hut in Brooklyn Loft for $2K (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 10:55 AM

Architect Terri Chiao knew she couldn't afford the rent on a 750-square-foot Brooklyn loft without a roommate, but she didn't want to divide it up with walls. Instead, she built a cabin and a treehouse inside the space to be used as private living quarters, leaving the remainder of the...

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NYC Transformer Loft Morphs Space: Walls Open, Fold And Slide (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2012 | 12:37 PM

Rosa and Robert Garneau's Chelsea apartment is small -- just 550 square feet of usable space with a bedroom just 8 feet wide -- but they can both work from home, find privacy (even for meetings while the other is sleeping) and fit all their belongings (sports equipment and lots...

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WATCH: 325-Square-Foot Tiny 'Cave' Apartment With DIY and Upcycled Furniture

(1) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 10:57 AM

Monica Potvin and Markel Otaola bought the 30-square-meter (323-square-foot) apartment in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter during their child-free years, when location was more important than space.

The tiny quarters had once been a space for the doorlady, and it was half underground. After a makeover that included a lot of custom,...

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WATCH: Urban Forest Erupts in San Francisco's Edgy Tenderloin

(0) Comments | Posted October 31, 2012 | 5:44 PM

The "Tenderloin National Forest" is likely one of the world's smallest "forests" -- it's just 23 feet wide by 136 feet deep -- but it is a refuge in one of the most densely-packed neighborhoods in the heart of San Francisco.

When artists Darryl Smith and Laurie Lazer first...

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Watch: DIY Furniture Easily Assembled From Old Cardboard Boxes

(1) Comments | Posted October 25, 2012 | 2:01 PM

Like many urban nomads, industrial designer Adrian Candela was once again overwhelmed by the packing waste leftover from a recent move and a subsequent trip to IKEA. In need of a nightstand, and not wanting to spend any more money or add to the waste, Candela turned the old boxes...

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Watch: Teen Builds Mortgage-Free Dorm on Wheels

(5) Comments | Posted October 16, 2012 | 11:54 AM

When I first met a 16-year-old Austin Hay, he nervously showed me the 130-square-foot home he was building for himself in his parents' backyard (he had started building at 15). He'd heard about the mortgage crisis, the environmental impact of large homes and the Small House Movement, and...

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WATCH: "Shotgun Shack" Family Remodels Tiny Home for $700 DIY-Style

(10) Comments | Posted October 3, 2012 | 10:08 AM

Three years ago, the Jordan family left their 2,500-square-foot, 4-bedroom home to move into a 1-bedroom, 320-square-foot prefab. They also left behind a mortgage, the four jobs they'd taken on between the 2 of them to pay it and a lot of stress. They now have more time to focus...

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Skyfarming Prototype? 8-Story, Climbable Vertical Garden in Barcelona (VIDEO)

(5) Comments | Posted September 24, 2012 | 12:49 PM

Architect Juli Capella was tasked by the city of Barcelona to design a vertical garden to cover a nearly 70-foot-high windowless wall (left over after an adjacent building was demolished).

Instead of creating a typical living wall that simply covered the existing surface with plants, he constructed a...

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Watch: See-Through Bathroom Provides Daylight to City Apartment

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2012 | 3:15 PM

When Miguel Angel and Elodie Grammont bought their apartment in Barcelona's Eixample district, it was divided into small rooms, a relic of 18th century design. The two architects -- co-founders of Miel Arquitectos -- knew they wanted to open it to let more daylight in, but rather than...

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Once Banned as a Dangerous Animal, NYC Bees Now Popular Pet (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted September 4, 2012 | 2:28 PM

Because he lives in a 21-story building and "bees don't like high rises too much" (too windy), Guillermo Fernandez keeps bees in a tiny public garden below Wall Street, next to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. He named his queen "Bee-atrix" after the ceremonial head of the Netherlands and as...

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Tiny Home Cube: Bathroom + Kitchen + Closet for Family of 3 (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted August 15, 2012 | 1:23 PM

When designer Monica Potvin (of the eco-design store Matteria) and her husband Marquel bought a small apartment in Barcelona's Poble Nou neighborhood (once industrial, now full of artist lofts), they had no plans of having children so they knocked down walls to create an open studio space with...

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WATCH: One-of-a-kind Treehouses Hung Like Birdcages over Pyrenees

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2012 | 6:39 PM

Emmanuel Grymonpré has invented a new style of treehouse. The shelters he's built in trees overlooking the Spanish Pyrenees don't rely on any ground support. Instead they're suspended like birdcages over 20 feet in the air by simple cables.

When Grymonpré and his wife Karin Van Veen came to the...

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WATCH: Tiny Apartment Hides Bathtub in a Drawer (and Closet Under the Bed)

(2) Comments | Posted July 17, 2012 | 4:27 PM

Micro-apartments the size of mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed tiny studios for New York City are common in historically dense cities like Paris and Barcelona. Over the past few years I've filmed a Lego-style transforming flat, a unit with a walk-thru shower and fridge-in-a-drawer and a small...

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Internet of Food: Tweeting Aquaponic Gardens in Oakland

(3) Comments | Posted June 27, 2012 | 5:31 PM

The land in West Oakland where Eric Maundu is trying to farm is covered with freeways, roads, light rail and parking lots so there's not much arable land and the soil is contaminated. So Maundu doesn't use soil. Instead he's growing plants using fish and circulating water.

It's called...

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Zen Meets Tiny Homes: Movable Paper Walls Transform Spaces (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted June 18, 2012 | 4:42 PM

Rui Miguel and Sonia Lopez both work in confined office buildings, so they wanted a home with plenty of outdoor space and natural light. They settled on a 40 square meter (430 square foot) apartment in downtown Barcelona with few windows, but a roof space, a small deck and potential.

...
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Barcelona Industrial Design Pioneer on Classic Craft and Minimalism (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted June 15, 2012 | 5:39 PM

His family left its mark on the Barcelona skyline (his uncle commissioned Antoni Gaudí to design the Casa Milà, a.k.a. La Pedrera, now a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the city's biggest tourist attractions), but Miguel Milà chose to leave his imprint on a more modern...

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WATCH: Why Hand-crafted, High-tech Wooden Bikes Give a Better Ride

(2) Comments | Posted June 11, 2012 | 4:29 PM

Ken Wheeler is a fan of any type of wooden craft. He's owned wooden sailboats, built wooden camping kitchens as a business and loves to point out that the all-wood de Havilland Mosquito -- a.k.a. "The Wooden Wonder" -- was one of the fastest planes in World War II. But...

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Frodo's Simple Living: Hobbit Holes as Tiny Homes (VIDEO)

(1) Comments | Posted June 6, 2012 | 11:57 AM

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that...
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Morphing, Modular Furniture of the Future: Tetris-like Stacking + LEGOish Shelves (VIDEO)

(2) Comments | Posted May 29, 2012 | 1:01 PM

If our future homes are urban, compact and temporary, than the furniture of the future will look something like BrickBox. These modular units function both as shelves and moving and/or storage boxes. They can be stacked like bricks -- or LEGOS -- and fit into any sized apartment,...

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