"Slow Home is a new design environment that will help you learn about modern residential design and how to start integrating the principles of good design into your daily life. Slow Home takes its name from the slow food movement which arose as a reaction to the processed food industry. In the same ways that slow food helps people learn how to become more familiar and involved with the food they eat, Slow Home provides design focused information to empower individuals to step beyond the too fast world of cookie cutter housing."
--Slow Home Website
John Brown is the editor of theslowhome.com and the founder of the Slow Home Movement. This is a very interesting concept and one that I think fits perfectly with the green movement towards eco-friendly homes and buildings. He uses the fast food industry to illustrate his point.
Over the last 60 years, fast food has become such a huge part of our culture. With the convenience and instant gratification of fast food comes various unintended consequences like poor health, obesity, environmental problems caused by agriculture and food processing industries supplies fast food establishments, etc. One such reaction to the fast food industry is the Slow Food Movement, which seeks to "counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people's dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how food choices affect the rest of the world."
According the Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, the enormous growth of the fast food industry not only affected our diets, it has also helped to transform "our landscape, economy, workforce, and popular culture. Fast food and its consequences have become inescapable, regardless of whether you eat it twice a day, try to avoid it, or have never taken a single bit." According to Brown, this is because producing, preparing and distributing food within a standardized industrial process has become such a tremendous economic success that most other industries, including residential construction, have followed suit.
To be honest, I feel a bit stuck. One the one hand, the standardization and mass production of homes has brought with it degrees of urban sprawl, little or no down payments, high interest only loans, promises of instant equity, etc. However, on the other hand, millions of people across the country have been able to realize the dream of home ownership. Where does that leave us? Well, right now Slow Home provides a start. Just as the "Slow Food encourages us to improve our lives by becoming more involved with the food we eat, Slow Home empowers each of us to take control of the places in which we live."
Enter the green movement. I think the ideas proposed by Slow Home will resonate with people because "green" is on people's minds right now. Slow Home has 10 steps to taking control of your home and community. I disagree with a few of the concepts of Slow Home. I definitely think there is a place for large DIY retailers and home builders. Larger companies can provide economies of scale that smaller companies cannot, which can be passed to the consumer. But regardless, its a great list and is good food for thought. The list includes the following: go independent, go local, go green, go near, go small, go open, go simple, go modern, go healthy, go for it.