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Building For The Future
From The Not So Big House
by Sarah Susanka, AIA

We are slowly coming to understand that if we build for our short-term needs alone, with buildings that self-destruct in only a generation or two, there will continue to be no sense of past and no sense of soul in our houses. Our perspective is broadening. We are looking into the future and are starting to grapple with how we can help maintain our planet in the state of balance that we recognize as home.

Design and craft take time. They take time to learn, time to execute, and time to appreciate. But it is time that we seem to have lost in our fast-paced, information-drenched society. The paradox we confront is that our productivity has given us the wealth to acquire whatever we desire materially, but we are finding that material alone is an insufficient vision. The qualities we long for have everything to do with taking time, building for the long term, crafting and paying attention to who we are, what we care about, and how we affect our world. The Not So Big House is a home in every sense of the word. It is a place that, by its very nature, asks you to dwell there a while and to take in all that it offers.

The house of the future will be designed so that unpredictable, changing technology can be integrated into the building without affecting the aesthetics. Since we cannot predict with any accuracy what the innovations of tomorrow will be, our strategies for integration must lie more in common sense than in clairvoyance and technical wizardry. We can be certain that conservation and maintainability are issues that will continue to have value. By designing our homes to be good custodians of our natural resources, and by engineering them to allow for ease of maintenance and future modification, we will be serving both ourselves and our planet well.

Bestselling author, architect and cultural visionary Sarah Susanka has emerged as the leader of a movement that continues to shape the future of the American home. With her first book, The Not So Big House (1998) Sarah Susanka launched a revolution in residential architecture that changed the way we think about our homes. The Not So Big House and her next two books, Creating the Not So Big House (2000) and Not So Big Solutions for Your Home (2002) inspired over one million readers and continue to receive international media attention. Her latest book, Home By Design (2004), looks at the key design concepts behind all well designed homes.