Mark Hansen has been a designer and builder of wooden boats and small shelters since he was a youngster on his family’s farm located on the Rum River in Minnesota. His family’s motto was, “why buy when you can make?” Another motivation for creating these structures has always been to place himself in nature, away from the crowds. Mark was involved in the formation of North House and has taught a variety of courses such as traditional boat building, small home construction, and the making of skis, toboggans, sleds, paddles, oars, bellows, and yurts. Small shelter and compact, wood-burning stove designs are of special interest to him, along with clothing instruction. Some of Mark’s work can be viewed in Lloyd Kahn’s 2014 book Tiny Homes on the Move, featuring four of Mark’s shelters that he designed and constructed.
Mark’s latest project is a live-aboard catamaran sailboat which serves as a “cabin on the lake” for him and his wife, Wendy. Affordable housing is of great interest to Mark and he is excited to be able to share his joy of design and construction with others.