A Not So Big Life: Sarah Susanka (#117)
How we inhabit our homes, our lives, and the planet.
Architect Sarah Susanka observed that houses in the U.S. were getting larger – but some rooms were seldom occupied, and often not even furnished. She found clients frequently did not get the immense satisfaction they expected from living in their “dream house.” How this relates to the way we inhabit our lives, and even the planet, is the subject of this conversation.
Sarah Susanka’s observations of Americans’ dissatisfaction with their “starter castles” sparked her to write Not So Big House, about how making a house bigger doesn’t necessarily make it better. The book was a major success, leading to appearances on major network morning shows and Oprah. More observation and reflection led Sarah to pen, several years later, The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Matters. It was a landmark book, important for its perspective on quality vs. quantity, and its encouragement to reflect on what we want “more” of.
That book resonated with me, so I sought Sarah out when she made a presentation in 2007 at the University of Denver. This episode is a blend of our conversation and the lively presentation she made that evening.
This is the 17th in our series of podcasts and radio programs. We post a new podcast episode every Thursday. Be sure to subscribe! You can find us at iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher, or sign up to get an email every Thursday with the newest episode. If you like what you hear, please support this project with a tax-deductible donation. Your comments are invited below. Are you living a “not so big” life and loving it? Or have you tried it and been disappointed? Photo Credit: Taylor Taz Johnson