Sunday, June 24, 2012

Epic Slow News Summary: April - May - June 2012

Well, the move is finished, the old house is staged and on the market, and life is getting back to normal at my new home... so it must be time to see what we've missed in the news over the past three months. Obviously this won't be an exhaustive summary - please leave a comment if I missed anything noteworthy!

This bag is part of graphic designer Maria Ballestar's Mankind Manifesto activist pack. Via
On Slow Home, Slow Design & Eco-Products
  • I'll have these flat-pack birdhouses for my garden, please. And maybe one of these microalgae lamps as a carbon sink (but what happens when the algae die and rot?).
  • Treehugger provided a great analysis of the changes to LEED certification - hooray for them making it more challenging, to answer the critiques about ill-planned add-ons like bike racks and shade awnings being used to get conventional buildings certified.
  • "Great things take time." - William McDonough on the seemingly slow adoption of Cradle-to-Cradle design principles
  • The Tiny House movement now has an article in YES and its own documentary
  • SlowFashioned reminded us that handmade quilts are THE slow home accessory.
  • Another pendant lamp made from a propane cylinder by a Canadian designer - this one by Montreal's La Firme.
  • Slow Furniture - or rather, a sweet campaign to support British craft affiliated with bespoke furniture website Lapaloosa - got some press in The Independent. (I'm pretty sure people were using the term 'slow furniture' before November 2011 - see this and this and this - but it feels like nitpicking to point that out when this new UK group's aims are so sympathetic to the goals of the slow movement in general. Carry on.)
  • I've talked before about reupholstering vintage furniture with good bones, instead of buying new furniture - here is a great piece from Apartment Therapy that talks about real-world reupholstery costs. (As usual with AT, the article itself is flawed by its' focus on only one region, so read the comments for more great advice and an idea of costs in other parts of the States.)
  • I've just discovered Slow Luxe Life, the blog of decorator Andrea May. Check out her explanation of slow design (which she uses to mean what others call "slow home"), then page through her weekly profiles of American makers and designers. Inspirational!
  • If your version of Slow Home includes a healthy dose of minimalism and simplicity, you really should sign up for the "SlowHome BootCamp" from our friend Brooke of Aussie blog Slow Your Home. If it isn't, well, maybe you should read her Nine Kick-Arse Reasons To Slow Your Home. Go on, we can do the boot camp together.
  • NYT's In Defense Of The Decorator makes the point that high-end decorators have access to skilled artisans (and help to save dying arts by specifying handmade, one-of-a-kind objects from those artisans), and that regardless of your budget, spending on a professional to guide your purchases and manage your renovation projects is an investment in your home and furnishings that can save you money and headaches in the long run. 
  • Hmm, these are stats from the US, but they indicate that when the housing bubble collapsed, more larger homes for families who can still afford mortgages under more restrictive lending rules were built.  (I wonder what proportion of large new houses are being built as multigenerational homes?)
  • Builder Online on the changes that all those baby boomers becoming seniors could wreak on the housing industry.
  • The best long read of the last three months in slow design might be Steve Mouzon's 6-part series on reincorporating living traditions into architecture - and all the disruptive technologies and ecological and economic trends that make it imperative to reexamine why we build what we build. Seriously, go read all of it NOW.
Check out the beautiful interiors of Johannesburg's SLOW In The City, which seems to be a mashup of a private members' club and business incubator, with a definite sustainability and slow movement bent. The operators also run the SLOW airport lounges in several South African domestic airports. Their philosophy: "Welcome to a calmer world, a place to celebrate pleasure over pressure, quality over quantity, mindfulness over mindlessness, SLOW is the equivalent of a long deep breath." LOVE. Via.

On Slow Fashion
From June 18 to 24, Slow Food is being celebrated in Britain - Via. 
On Slow Food
On Slow Travel
On Sustainability
On Slow Living

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