Defining Home

Students in the Spring 2021 Advanced Visual Journalism class traversed stories of different homes and lifestyles, paving diverse definitions of what home can mean in the greater Bellingham area. From college houses to tiny homes, they offer a peek into local homes and dwellings, as well as the redefining of “home” as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What Home Means

A handful of young adults express what “home” truly means and feels like to them

This project explores the idea that home can be both physical and non-physical. Through a series of photos and audio interviews we learn how these young adults in the Bellingham area interact with their space and who, or what, they surround themselves with. Asking questions such as, “What does home smell like?” evokes a thought process considering comforts that may sit in the subconscious day-to-day, but hold a precious meaning wherever home resides. 

Video by Nicky Sadigh, Merrideth McDowell, Brodie Pirtle, Aedan Scanlon and Claudia Cooper. Music: “Country Home (remix)” by Pretty Lights.

Necessity and Desire

Tiny homes and their expanding use as low-income housing and recreational spaces

Tiny homes have become increasingly popular for recreation starting as early as 2008, as a getaway from the pandemic or as a way to reduce carbon footprints. They have also, more recently, been realized as a popular solution to help homeless people find shelter and a welcoming community. 

This video follows the story and development of two tiny home villages. Swifthaven, a local effort by nonprofit HomesNow, was created to house homeless people in need of an opportunity to get back on their feet. Wildwood, located on the shores of Lake Whatcom, is a community of waterfront cottages that allows residents to stay in tiny homes recreationally. 

Video by Oliver Hamlin, Chase Hilden, Thomas Hughes, Jason James and Katie Linton. Music by Thomas Hughes.