• John Brown


    William McDonough is an American architect who has devoted his career to rethinking the way we think about sustainability , manufacturing, and the built environment. In this book McDonough argues for a fundamental shift in thinking away from the typical one way “cradle to grave” manufacturing model in which most products and buildings are ultimately discarded as waste, and towards a “cradle to cradle” strategy in which these things become natural resources for another round of production. Waste equals food.

  • Paul C


    Hi everyone,
    I find this magazine to be a very good resource

  • Wayne M


    This book is part of a series devoted to small living. There are some great examples of how to reduce ones space requirements and still maintain a good quality of life.

  • Gerard Cadger


    An excellent dissertation on the origins of North American urban planning. The best book on the topic, a must-have.

  • Gerard Cadger


    The best reference for good urban planning I’ve run across. Uses the typical Italian city as example, provides a core of design priciples applicable anywhere.

  • Kevin M


    Fairly heavy read but forms some of the groundwork of some modern planning theory. Similar concepts to the slow home but on an urban scale.

  • Louis Pereira


    “A Treasury of 100 Architect-Designed Houses…”

    Part of my vintage book collection, this is one of my prized first editions(1954) that I reference again and again. Among the Architects featured are Richard Neutra, Craig Ellwood, A. Quincy Johnes and many others prominent during the mid-century era and include Plans and Elevations (and photography of built works) of their lesser known residential projects.

    It may be no longer in print, but if you happen to come across it in your local library or by chance you discover it in a used book store, buy it! I’ve seen an original edition online selling for $250US.

    Description: This book is a veritable rosetta stone for people interested in postwar modernism that was produced under (often severe) budget constraints. No Kaufmann Houses here — just thoughtfully planned and brilliantly executed modern housing.

  • James Scott


    Published by the Houghton Mifflin Company, many of us with youngsters have read this relatively modern classic, probably a few times.

    This short story talks about the value of a strong foundation, our environment and the values we share with each other. Often we need a simple message like this to get these points across.

    I know it doesn’t deal with the mature and deeper subject matter that the other posted titles possess but I do feel it is universal in it’s message that a home is more than just a house.

  • Matt Nolette


    Stuart Brand deconstructs the design principles of lasting, versatile buildings with a focus on sustainability. Key themes like proper siting, practical space planning, and occupant satisfaction are as common in this book as here at Slow Home. I believe understanding the life and maturation of a building through time is critical to planning a home that will be a family heirloom.

  • John Brown


    This is a very clear and interesting article on Design Thinking written by the CEO and President of IDEO. It was published in the Harvard Business Review.

  • Louis Pereira



    “Brilliant….Here’s how to design or redesign any space you’re living or working in–from metropolis to room. Consider what you want to happen in the space, and then page through this book. Its radically conservative observations will spark, enhance, organize your best ideas, and a wondrous home, workplace, town will result.”–San Francisco Chronicle

    ^Gee, that’s Slow Home in a nutshell!

    A fantastic online companion to the book can be found here:

  • Jim Argeropoulos


    If you are at all interested in passive heating and cooling, you should look this book up. The book is not your typical 70′s book of containing pictures of cheesy home that put that forgot about architecture or good looks. Rather, it is page after page of useful information about the fundamentals. Each page is hand lettered and hand illustrated to boot.

  • John Y


    This is a cross-disciplinary book on design and usability that can be applied to a broad range of disciplines. It is composed of 100 principles, each given a two-page spread that describes and illustrates the principle. Many of the principles have footnotes, and there is a recommended reading list in the book for further exploration.

  • John Y


    Donald Norman’s seminal book is an in-depth look at how anything from software and electronic devices to cars and houses can be better designed to allow for easier, more pleasant use. This contains a number of case studies illustrating both good and bad design in a variety of applications.

  • Terri


    I reread this book recently and found it surprising that though it was published in 1993, it covers many of the same issues that are discussed here on the Slow Home website.

    Witold Rybcyznski has written widely on the subject of architecture. His writing voice is friendly; he often talks about his impressions of architectural design with an attitude that is broad-minded.

    This book is a collection of articles written and published in newspapers and magazines between 1986 and 1991. Some of the titles include “Home, Sweet Bungalow Home,” “Habitat Revisited,” “Should Suburbs be Designed?” “The Birthplace of Postmodernism,” and “How to Pick an Architect,” just to name some.

    There are no illustrations, which I found a little frustrating back when I first read it, but now with the Internet so available, you can look up any buildings he refers to (if you’re not already familiar with them). Even though these are typically short articles, they often include references to other publications, so you may read in further depth on a subject.

    If you want a fairly entertaining and lighter read on a wide range of architectural topics, then you ought to check it out.

  • Steve


    Described by one reviewer as a “psychological tour of the American home,” Winnifred Gallagher’s book explores the “environmental behavioral dynamics” of the spaces in which we live. She draws on a vast knowledge of architecture history and behavioral science to show how our homes influence our thoughts, feelings, and actions – how they both shape and express our identities.

    “The overarching insight that unifies our dwellings and this book alike,” Gallagher writes, “is that home exists as much between our ears as in a building. That is, what really makes a house a home is how successfully it supports our daily activities and expresses and nurtures our best thoughts, memories, feelings, and patterns of behavior – our way of life, of which our current residence is one manifestation.”

    “House Thinking” is an accessible and enjoyable read, in the same vein as Witold Rybczynski’s “The Most Beautiful House in the World.” It’s not a style or lifestyle book, and it has no pretty pictures. It is instead about creating domestic spaces that coax the best out of life itself … if we’re willing to think about it.

  • James Scott

    John – Here we have the Ultimate Library, and I’m doing my very best to read through the titles listed above.

    On occasion some of the posters add links to articles and other on-line references that support some of the proposed ideas. Is it worth adding or creating a Slow Home Bibliography?

  • John Brown

    Are you referring to links that might be posted to the daily design exercise conversations? If so, we could try to cross list them in this section. I am not sure we need another page just for bibliographies. Thoughts?

  • James Scott

    John – I’m wondering if I’m thinking more of the concept of the Random Inspirations that contributors are allowing us to see each time a link is presented during the daily collaborations.

    Though some days I come across something that I feel just has to be shared, but may not fit the scheme of the design project or the WWWTH segment.

    Here is an example:

  • John Brown

    I think I understand. Not as big as a book reference and not necessarily related to the daily exercise. Could be news (like your example) or an image (like Louis often posts). Right?

    Do you have an idea about how/where this might work?

  • James Scott

    Good morning John,

    I think the format would be similar to the Ultimate Library page that we see here. A link to an on-line article or a web page supported by a title and the posters idea or argument why we would find this of interest. As I mentioned above, Random Inspirations are really what this is.

    Sorry to have strayed on this page, I fear I have caused more work for your team by using the wrong forum.

  • Terri

    Steve has suggested this book above (Thanks, Steve!), and I just want to add my recommendation.

    Gallagher studies our living spaces room by room. She begins with an historical view into how the particular room evolved over time, looking at function as well as details both major and minor (for example, in the Bedroom chapter I learned how “sleep tight” and “hit the hay” came to be). She also discusses many well-known American homes, analyzing the influences and characteristics of their owners and the society in which they lived.

    I find that this kind of sociological approach is informative while being less technical and brain-taxing than some texts (as I find some of Christopher Alexander’s work to be), and I thoroughly enjoyed it.