Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Little House

So says Frances Moore Lappe in the foreword to Little House on a Small Planet- a wonderful book by Shay Salomon with photographs by Nigel Valdez. Shay asks the question "How much space does it take to be happy?" and then proceeds to answer the question: not very much. She then proceeds to ask why there are big houses (Keeping up with the joneses, easy financing, "because we can") and instructs us to find new Joneses or forget the Joneses.

It is not just about how you design, but how you live. Chapters with titles like "Choose what you need" and "build a glove, not a warehouse" and "make a room of your own." It is a lovely book that teaches you how to "live in less space and have more room to enjoy it. Dozens of tiny houses are beautifully photographed with what must be a very wide angle lens- one of my favourites was a 180 square foot "cob cottage where a couple lived for ten years, and apparently still talk to each other.

I must point out that with a few exceptions these houses would fall into the crunchy granola school of design built by free spirits who believe that (we quote out of context) "architect designed" is synonymous with "don't ask how much it cost" and that there is a bias towards warm climates where one can always go outside.

Nonetheless it is the spirit and conviction of the people in this book, who not only believe as I do that we should all live with less, but actually make the decision to go out and do it and explain how. It is an informative and inspiring addition to the canon. ::Little House on a Small Planet Direct from the Author by PayPal or you can go ::Amazon


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