KVUE — What started as an experiment at Huston-Tillotson University has morphed into an idea that could revolutionize urban living.
"We started at the bottom and now we're here," said Jeff Wilson, referencing the popular Drake song. "Literally."
Most people know Wilson as Professor Dumpster. For one year, the Huston-Tillotson University professor lived in a 33-square-foot renovated dumpster to teach students about science and sustainability.
"Essentially, I was just sitting there one evening thinking about all the good things about the dumpster," said Wilson. "It was highly affordable, I could transport it, and I got to spend a lot more time in my 'hood, the neighborhood I wanted to be in, and I thought, 'Okay, let's take this and work on it.'"
Wilson created a team to start the company Kasita.
"This is an amazing team. We have Elon Musk's head industrial designer at Solar City; we have Robert Keith at W2 MacFab in East Austin who runs a genius shop that's one of the only places that could actually make this; and Taylor Wilson (no relation), a young developer doing micro units here in East Austin," said Wilson.
Kasita is a play on the Spanish word "casita," which means "little house," and that's exactly what Wilson's company is building: small, pre-fabricated homes that are just 208 square feet.
"Iconically designed. It looks as beautiful as these million-dollar condos down here and will rent in Austin for about $600 a month," said Wilson. "This is not a dumpster. This has a walk-in shower, a queen-size bed, a desk, a table, and then this beautiful glass cube in the front that brings a lot of light into the space."
The couch in the living room pulls out into a queen-size bed. There are storage units and closets built into the walls and a step next to the couch is actually storage for up to 50 pairs of shoes. The walls in the units are made of tiles that can be customized to hold speakers or shelves.
Kasita already has two lots in downtown Austin that will be ready in 2016. By 2017, Kasita plans to expand to 10 cities across the country.
To see the full story and learn more about Kasita's new project, visit KVUE.