As our world—and our expectations—of everything from food to functionality have grown exponentially faster, many of us crave a slower pace. Carlo Petrini, who saw this coming, founded Slow Food in 1986 to re-introduce people to food’s pleasure and fight the corporate banality that was destroying the culinary experience. In the past decade, Slow Food has spawned a Slow movement that includes Slow Cities, promoting local identity and community, and Slow Planet, fighting the need for always being in a hurry. Slow Design, founded in 2006 by Carolyn F. Strauss and Alastair Fuad-Luke, aims to slow down the metabolism of people, resources and flows. “Housing is informed by and designed within a vision driven by short-term economic goals,” Fuad-Luke writes. “The offspring of this design paradigm are billions of products and buildings, most destined to lead very short lives in order to stimulate (replacement) production. This roller coaster of production is partly driven by an unswerving belief in economic growth as a given cultural good.”
At Slow Home Studio, Canadians John Brown and Matthew North are putting this philosophy to work, providing an educational resource for people who want to live a more sustainable, higher quality—slower—domestic life. Brown and North want people to live in homes designed for long-term satisfaction rather than quick sale; they believe home should be “a place where we can be ourselves.” Slow Home Studios’ 10 steps to a slow home is a great place to begin this journey.
A Slow Home is located in a walkable neighborhood that minimizes your use of a car.
A Slow Home is correctly oriented to the sun and properly related to its surroundings.
A Slow Home is modestly sized and has good flow between spaces with a strong connection to the outdoors.
The front and back entries in a Slow Home are spaces, not just doors.
All indoor and outdoor living spaces in a Slow Home have good daylight and are easy to furnish.
A Slow Home has a compact kitchen with an efficient layout, good work surfaces, and sufficient storage.
A Slow Home has a well-defined dining area that properly fits a table suitable for daily use.
All bedrooms in a Slow Home have good daylight, sufficient storage, and can logically fit a bed.
A Slow Home has an appropriate number of well organized and modestly sized bathrooms.
The service spaces in a Slow Home are unobtrusive and highly functional.
Like this hand-built home in Alabama, Slow Homes offer ample opportunity for just sitting. Photo by Michael Shopenn