July 26, 2003

The Not So Big House

I've been reading Sarah Susanka's books, The Not So Big House and Creating the Not So Big House. These books promote a design philosophy contrary to the "more is better" school--they promote finesse along with form and function.

So much of my work as an information architect has been influenced by the constraints of the Net; bandwidth, search engine optimization, etc. Real-world architecture also always has constraints: the nature of the building site, local codes and ordinances, and most often, the depth of the owner's pocketbook.

Susanka's books are perfect for those of us who live in crazy housing markets like Silicon Valley. You can't find a big lot to build on anymore, and even the small lots are too expensive. When a starter "fixer upper" home costs half a million dollars, you look for ways to optimize your design.

The other book on home design I revere is, naturally, Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings, by Edward Morse. Kevin Driscoll, my boss at Netscape, told me about it. So many ideas, so little time.

Posted by jameshom at July 26, 2003 08:16 AM
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