How can we create a happy place?

Demo house is a couch surfing and community home located in Portland, Oregon. It is a place to celebrate friendships, nurture kindness and embrace differences. Over the last 18 months, the house has hosted over 450 travellers from all over the world.
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I found Demo House on Craiglist. Honestly.
And it changed my world. Living here was like living inside a motivational poster – there was a constant motivation to be kind, to smile and to seek out new experiences. This house and its people taught me that,

Strangers don’t have to be scary.

Opening your personal space to others takes away your vulnerabilities.

Happy people make you want to be happy.

You can be unclean and messy and still be an amazing human being.

Unconditional acceptance and non-judgmental space bring the best out of you.

People are inherently good. We all are looking for reasons to be kind.

Happy art, happy conversations and happy energy create a happy space.

Above all, we are all here to make some beautiful memories.

The magic of Demo

A travellers’ community in the Portlandia suburbs
Photo: Scott Allen Tice source

“This house is more than a Couchsurfing house – it’s a magical experience. Demo House is a place of freedom, a home that welcomes strangers, and a house that encourages everyone to be the best versions of themselves. Simply put, Demo House is my favorite place in the world.”

Bui, House mate

As gentrifying neighbourhoods and Airbnb are pushing people out of the city and every possible human experience is being monetized, Demo house chooses to leave its doors unlocked and welcome everyone.

Collaborative art by the travellers. source

“Each guest leaves their mark on the walls, so wandering through the house becomes an adventure in itself as you admire the artwork.”

Jaymee Lee, Couchsurfer
Bollywood dance workshop, 2018. source



Living room concert nights
Andrew and Sean – Tipptop

“Demo House felt like true freedom, a place where you are always welcomed and where you will meet awesome people. Often people demand a society free from prejudice- a tolerant, optimistic and open-minded society. The hosts of demo house not just show us that this is done so easily, no, they also show us how great this utopia is.”

Moritz Thiele, Traveller

“I like to think that more often than not, each person who’s come through the doors remembers the Demo as a place of connection. A place where you meet people in reverse – where you dance with new faces, then discover their names afterwards. A place protected from adult concerns like political climate or career plausibility. The Demo is a place of recognition that here, together, we’re aware that our reality is a gift, and we’re celebrating with people who’ve come to the same conclusion.”

Dresden De Vera, Friend
Portland Couch crash, 2018. source

“Each person that comes here is contributing to something bigger than our individual selves. This is a place where you are willing to be open, to share, to experiment, and to accept differences.”

Bui, House mate
Storytelling and Slumber parties

“The project is a truly unique space run by really special souls. The creative energy, kindness, compassion, and joy here runs deep.”

Tyler Rose, Traveller

Demo house has hosted two magical weddings.

Even when the house is empty, the happiness exists in the art, movement and the conversations that have happened here.

Conscientious people.
Their pursuit of self development.
Is matched.
Only by their desire to meet strangers.
Come here to grow.
And enjoy doing it.

Dresden De Vera, Friend
Picture: Scott Allen Tice. source

“Their sunken couches and graffiti-ed walls served as my refuge, and have served numerous wanderers from across the coast, continent, and globe. Demo House is a true hearth for the interdisciplinary weird and wacky.”

Ian Garland, traveller

Demo House will be demolished soon. (Or already is)
But it will forever be a happy place for those who were lucky enough to be a part of such magic.

– Damini, (ex) house mate

Aspire. Inspire. Expire.

Demo House (April 2017-Jan 2019)
Picture: Scott Allen Tice. source

More on the magic of Demo House



What is Demo House?
DEMOGRAPHIC: We’re a couchsurfing house- meaning we hosted hundreds of travelers around the world for free.
DEMONSTRATE: We believe in sharing new ideas, culture, kindness, different perspectives with each other and the community. This can be be through “demos” ( workshops).
DEMOLITION: They are planning to destroy the house to make some fancy condos. Because of this finality, it allows us to make some art throughout the whole house. Along the way, we had multiple extensions to the lease. We don’t know when is the last day ( rumor is November 2018), but let’s make some laughter, art, and memories along the way.

Follow Demo House on Instagram and facebook.

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