Sarah Susanka Speaks at the Center for the Environment
Watch the video.
Susanka, the author of numerous books, including “The Not So Big House” and
“The Not So Big Life,” leads the “Not So Big” movement to redefine the American
home and lifestyle. She
contends that such a philosophy is the first step toward sustainability and can
positively affect both personal well being and the health of the planet as a
has appeared on TV and radio programs, including Oprah, Diane Rehm, and Charlie
Rose. U.S. News and World Report named her an “innovator in American
culture” and Newsweek selected her in
2000 as a “top newsmaker.” In
2007, she received the Anne Morrow Lindbergh Award from the Lindbergh
Foundation for “outstanding individual achievement demonstrating a spirit of
initiative and exemplifying great dedication toward making positive
contributions to our world.” In
2009, Builder Magazine honored her as
one of their Top 30 Innovators for her impact on the home building industry.
Q&A with Sarah Susanka
Sarah Susanka, an architect and pioneer of the “Not So Big”
philosophy, spoke recently with Juanita Teschner of the Center for the
Environment at Catawba College. This is a compilation of an edited
transcript of that conversation plus information from Susanka’s office.
Q: How did the “Not So Big” philosophy come about?
A: I started to realize both in my practice as a residential
architect and as a human being that there was often a simpler and more
elegant way to do things. So if I’m talking about a house, it is smaller
but higher quality and actually lives larger as a result. It’s a
different type of “moreness.” So I started with houses, but it very
quickly became apparent to me that that was also how I went about living
my life. I noticed that I was one of the many millions who were overly
busy. I had a hard time figuring out how to find the time to pursue the
things I was passionate about. One night after having an extremely busy
day at the office, I suddenly realized that if I didn’t make time to do
what I loved to do, which was writing, it would never happen. And the
only person who could make a shift in my life was me. It struck me like a
two-by-four. In a certain fashion, everything I have written came about
as a result of that moment.
Read more … Q&A with Sarah Susanka