Gallery: PREFAB FRIDAY: Mfinity Releases microSYSTEM


About a year after Hurricane Katrina, we featured architect Carib Daniel Martin’s H.E.L.P. emergency shelter, a modular concept he developed to solve the challenges of widespread and sudden homelessness in the Gulf region. Almost two years later, having shopped the prototype around to manufacturers and found no takers, Martin is producing his prefab shelter himself in a manufacturing facility he built in Illinois. Now dubbed the microHOME (not to be confused with this micro home), Martin’s product has become commercially available for both emergency and non-emergency purposes.

At just 100 square feet (!) this multifunctional mini house contains a kitchenette, private bath and composting toilet. For supplemental space, it also comes with a porch that has been designed in a number of different styles to suit the inhabitant. It’s hard to imagine how in the world a person (let alone a family!) could live sanely in just 100 square feet. Perhaps as a temporary shelter it would provide welcome relief, but in the long term we suspect anyone would crave some elbow room.

Because it’s now intended for a variety of end users, the microHOME is just one of several iterations in Martin’s line of manufactured homes known as microSYSTEM. He also offers a studio, shed and cabana. It can all be found at the website of Martin’s company Mfinity, aptly named after the infinite options Martin has designed for ultra-compact living.

+ microSYSTEM from Mfinity


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  1. Home sweet home at TheS... October 23, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    […] Mfinity Microsystem […]

  2. todd October 22, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    check these out.

    both of these designs have recieved quite a lot of press.

  3. Jeff October 22, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    Stick built homes are far less efficient, they are often horribly constructed (which is why most of your homes in the suburbs were constructed in a week) and most of them fall apart in fifty years. Granted this prefab is both way too expensive and unatractive….however there are some amazing designs on the market that are extremely inexpensive great little homes. A prefab is supposed to be efficient and cost effective. This country won’t take to the idea, because we just don’t like ideas that make sense…..hense all the Hummers and Excersions lumbering around your neighborhood instead of Hybrids.

  4. Jeff August 25, 2007 at 2:21 am

    40k? Thats nuts. Come to think of it, that thing sort of looks like a building prop I saw in a SNL skit. Is this……..some sort of joke?

  5. The Revolution Corporation August 23, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    I toured five mobile home sales centers in NC last week & was impressed that the real deal has come a long way. Yes, I did enter one that had a notice noting that materials with formaldehyde were used (apparently, some people don’t know that it’s not nice to use the F word)… And in another my eyes were burning within 3 minutes of entering… But I did tour a nice 1,000 SF double-wide that used smarter materials, had a high ceiling, ample windows , and get-outta-town Betty!!!, they could land that baby for $39K turn-key! Made me think about all this Prefab Friday & PreFabulous, etc. So, reading this article, I think about how ridiculous the whole independent prefab market segment is. Flat people, marmalades, and all that. After reading the comments on this shack, I’m thinking some land owners are about to band together for La Révolution…
    Send this man a copy of Walden…

  6. daniel August 21, 2007 at 9:27 am

    Great idea. I wok in emergency management, and am part of the recovery of Louisiana after Katrina. The price is way off though, to make this a realistic option for it’s size. Used FEMA trailers, sell for around $4- $8,000.00.

  7. Sally Truman August 19, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    $40 grand is ridiculous either subjectively or objectively. It’s insulting to the rest of the world to charge that much – obviously “green” ethics don’t extend outside of the transaction itself in this case …

    I recently had a very nice Craftsman bungalow/cabin built in Montana for $41,500. That included labor, solar panels for electricity (with a small battery backup), well drilling and a small rain collector, septic system and hookups, permits and everything. It also covered the cost of 7 acres of land … Oh yeah, and my house is just as “green” (or more so!) than this thing.

  8. Michael A August 19, 2007 at 9:28 am

    $40,000 seems like a lot but it is still cheaper than other small prefabs out there. The micro-mini costs 50,000 euros (thats nearly $67,500) and the tumbleweed house costs $43,000. And both of these you still have to pay to ship them!

  9. rek August 19, 2007 at 2:37 am

    All prefab structures are ugly, guys.

  10. jac7890 August 18, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    One reason I love small spaces is because they require significantly more ingenuity than larger ones.
    However, in this minihome, I can see no signs of intelligence or creativity in the design. It’s just small.

  11. Chris Meisenzahl August 18, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Very cool, I like it!

  12. jack73t August 18, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Check the website. That $40,000.00 does include free delivery and setup! What a joke! The government might think it’s a good deal though.

  13. Walt Barrett August 18, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Micro homes are supposed to be affordable. The basic idea of this one is great, but the company will never succeed unless they rethink the pricing. How was the price derived? It reflects a lack of business experience and a lack mass production experience. We are never going to solve the housing problem with prices like that for such a tiny structure, and believe me, I’m all for Micro Homes. It should sell for less than $10,000.00 including a fair profit. The pricing indicates a lack of experience in the marketplace. Not to be picking just on this one submission, the other model referred to from Europe is far to expensive also. I’m ok with the actual design, it’s just the price that bothers me. I would hate to see the company fail because we need these units in the marketplace.

  14. Hans August 18, 2007 at 2:41 am

    $40,000 for that? No wonder prefab isn’t popular in the U.S. If you offered that money to any good ol’ boy in the Midwest they would build you a house 10 times that size.

  15. Ulrike August 17, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Wow. Kids in a Prefab photo? I think that might be a first. Seems like most Prefabs are marketed to DINKs or single adults.

    Also, the Katrina Cottage, a previous Prefab Friday Feature, was prominently featured on the last page of the Lowe’s ad this week. I’m no where near hurricane region. They show both the 544 sq ft and the 697 sq ft version and refer shoppers to for more info.

  16. Peter August 17, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    It’ so UGLY! I much prefer the white cube houses featured recently.

  17. Cindy August 17, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    I cannot understand $430 sq ft. I might have called them nice. But I have to wonder is his profit margin. I’m all for fair pricing but this seems outrageous.

  18. Michael August 17, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Thank God that I do not have to live in this shack.

  19. Hmmmmm August 17, 2007 at 9:52 am

    I really like that Architects are thinking about this issue, but I can’t help thinking they are just trying to re-invent the wheel over and over. For the same cost of one 100SF ! unit, a person could get a 400SF Park Home Cabin. For example. ( This offers the same advantages…protability, factory buit etc that these units are offering. Why not take the ugly model and work it up? I realize his cost is going to be high b/c of production costs, but I really don’t see how they can be triple an exising product on the market.

  20. pahl samson August 17, 2007 at 9:43 am

    where are the shots of the bedroom? or is this a sort of glorified camper… with the table turning into a queen rest area?

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