Maybe I should back up a bit. What is a yurt? Here is a page with a nice definition, as well as a lot of information on building and living in a yurt.
More info on building and living in a yurt.
http://www.instructables.com/id/GerTee-Portable-tent-home-made-of-recycled-materia/ (A lot of useful information in the comments)
When I was researching this project I considered several different ideas. But I came to the conclusion that a yurt would be the best option for my situation, but I came across a lot of great ideas that may work for a lot of people.
I liked yomes, especially over a geodesic structure. Geodesic shapes are really quite awesome, but too complicated in my opinion. I particularly LOVE the hexayurt design. These are a big deal at Burning Man, and for good reason. They are easy to build using standard size sheets of plywood or study foamboard insulation, and waste very little to no materials. They can be made with hinges, or duct tape seams to be easily and quickly assembled and disassembled flat. If you are interesting in making an hexayurt, the H13 solves the problem of not enough headroom by adding only one extra sheet. More variations here.
I also found some really novel ideas. Some may be more novel than practical.
I looked at a lot of tiny houses, especially ones built from salvaged materials. Shipping crates are a great source of free wood. If you have a place to store supplies, it’s not uncommon to find perfectly good wood, carpet, windows, bricks, insulation, and all manner of construction materials on the free section of craigslist and freecycle. Occasionally people even give away old trailers. The cheapest I’ve heard of someone building a tiny house was for $3500, and she utilized a lot of salvaged/recycled materials.
Ultimately a yurt is my best option because:
I have access to free bamboo, a round structure handles weather well, the poles in walls distribute the weight of the roof evenly, unlike a tiny house I could make it myself, it’s small enough to store on my deck when not in use, I don’t need a large vehicle to haul it around and unlike tents strapped to shopping carts a stove could be used in it and it’s portable and livable.