Annette Orban did not exhibit her structure, The Wine Port, at Microdwelling 2014. She remains interested in the Microdwelling movement, and may participate in a future Microdwelling event.
Annette Orban has been doing graphic design for over 20 years, and has always had a special passion for package design.
Annette Orban holds a scale 3D model of The Wine Port
“My favorite projects to work on are packaging design projects, because they involve the construction of 3D objects,” Annette says.
“By extension, this has led me toward designing buildings. After all, most architectural spaces are really just big boxes.”
After attending a class at the Shemer Art Center, taught by Microdwelling founder Patrick McCue, Annette decided to build her first microstructure for the Microdwelling 2014 Builder’s Showcase.
Encouraged by Patrick, a local pioneer in the microdwelling movement, Annette pushed past her fears and built three models before settling on a final scale model of her structure, WinePort.
WinePort is Annette’s vision for a portable wine tasting room, designed for small wineries looking for an affordable and elegant tasting room, or for oenophiles looking for a casual, well-designed space to entertain in their backyards.
Annette is currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to fund the materials she needs to make WinePort a reality.
I spoke with Annette about what led her to become a builder in Microdwelling 2014, her perspective on the micro dwelling movement, and the challenges she has overcome so far.
What is your inspiration for the microdwelling you’re building this year?
My building is “The WinePort: A portable tasting room” and I was initially inspired after visiting a tasting room that was so stark and austere that I went home and sketched out my own idea for the space. It is a distillation of many features that I love, like round windows, comfortable seating, and a curved bar— which is friendlier and makes conversation easier than a straight-line bar.
It is designed to be used as a mobile wine tasting room, but it could easily be adapted for use by a catering company, artisan cheese maker, brewery, or simply for entertaining in your own backyard.
How long have you been interested in micro dwellings?
This will be my first microstructure. I’ve been intrigued by the idea that “less is more” for years. One factor that has accelerated my interest is the realization that even my relatively small 1,200 square foot home takes up a lot of time and energy to maintain, repair and furnish.
When I lived in Portland, Oregon, I was tremendously inspired by the Portland Garden Cottages. Here are some great photos of these charming 364 square foot cottages. The Adhocism of these cottages, as well as the cost savings, inspired me to use salvaged and recycled materials as much as possible for building WinePort.
I was lucky to live in Portland, where infill is encouraged by the city. They even offered deeply discounted building permits for homeowners adding a “mother-in-law flat” or small rental property. There is a strong microdwelling movement there, but I see it beginning to take root here in Phoenix, too.
What do you enjoy most about being a member of the Arizona Microdwelling community?
I really enjoy the confidence-building aspect of knowing that I can build something myself. I wish everyone were taught three things in school: how to grow your own food, how to build a small shelter, and how to manage your money.
Where are you at in building WinePort? I hear you already have ideas for your next microdwelling.
Building the WinePort in my own backyard is my focus this month. Then I’ll move it to the site at The Shemer Art Center for the Micro Dwell 2014 showcase, where it will be used by a local winery to serve wine during the opening weekend.
Of course, I continue to develop packaging design for gourmet food and wine. Samples of my luscious graphic design work can be seen at OrbanRanch.com.
My next microdwelling project is alternative housing for seniors or retirees. This group of cottages will include garden and patio space. It will be an alternative for older people who don’t want to be cut off from nature in typical high-rise style senior housing. Micro dwellings are addictive!
Sounds great! Where can we find out more about WinePort?
Look for more info at TheWinePort.com. I will also be adding Facebook and Twitter pages for the WinePort very soon. There are some very attractive rewards for backing my Kickstarter campaign, so please check it out. I hope to serve lots of wine come February 15!
Come experience WinePort for yourself, February 15 – March 23, 2014, at the Shemer Art Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Annette will be on-site to answer questions, conduct personal walk-throughs, and most importantly, wine will be served by Vineyard !