SUSANKA | Sarah Susanka
Architect, Author, Not So Big Lifestyle Visionary
Bestselling author, architect and cultural visionary Sarah Susanka is leading a movement to redefine the American home and lifestyle. Sarah Susanka’s “Not So Big” message has become a launch pad for a new dimension of understanding how we inhabit our homes, our planet and our lives. A thought leader and acclaimed architect, Susanka is the best-selling author of nine books that collectively weave together home and life design, revealing that a “Not So Big” attitude serves not only architectural aims, but life goals as well. Her books have sold over one million copies.
Sarah Susanka describes herself first and foremost as a student of life. Through decades of studying the art of living more consciously, she has learned to use her everyday life as a laboratory to help craft the tools for waking up.
In her Not So Big House series of books, Sarah has helped readers understand that the sense of “home” they’re seeking has almost nothing to do with quantity, and everything to do with quality. She points out that we feel “at home” in our houses when where we live reflects who we are in our hearts. In The Not So Big Life, she uses this same set of notions to explain that we can feel “at home” in our lives only when what we do reflects who we truly are.
A master in the use of metaphor to help explain new dimensions of understanding, Sarah unveils a process for changing the way we live by fully inhabiting each moment of our lives and by showing up completely in whatever it is we are doing. This process of self discovery, described in The Not So Big Life, has provided the compass and formed the core of Sarah’s true avocation as student of life. Through this process of inner work, readers discover more meaningfulness and vitality in their own lives.
Sarah has learned what she knows by living an ordinary life, filled with all the normal challenges of family and career, and this is what makes her an unusually effective teacher in the art of living more consciously. Brought up in England by parents with little interest in spirituality, she was able to develop and integrate a non-denominational spiritual practice into her everyday life from an early age, using every circumstance, friendship and passion as the nutrients for inner growth.
A registered architect, a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, and a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, Susanka resides in North Carolina.
SPEECH TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONS
Not So Big: The First Step in Sustainability
Our quest for a sense of more has led to oversized, over-scheduled lives and simply too much. In fact, what we’re really looking for resides elsewhere. Susanka reveals that Not So Big principles can apply to our lives, bringing us greater satisfaction and enjoyment, just as they do when applied to our homes. Inhabiting our homes and truly inhabiting our lives are parts of one puzzle—and right-sizing your life is in fact the first step in creating a more sustainable “you.”
The Not So Big Life: A Personal Approach to Sustainability
Susanka reveals that following the longings of our hearts is in fact the most sustainable action any individual or organization can take. This upbeat message leaves audiences both moved and inspired to engage their everyday lives in a new and deeply satisfying way. It is a wonderful counterpoint to the common “doom and gloom” messages being put forth today related to sustainability and the environment.
The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live
This quintessential home design presentation explains the motivations and thinking behind the Not So Big House movement. Why are we so fascinated by size, and what are we missing about what makes a great house for present day lifestyles? Audiences will learn how to right size their homes so that every space is in use every day. They’ll gain new understanding about how to make their own houses feel more personal, comfortable and inspiring.
Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live
Almost everyone wants to remodel some aspect of their house, but how many of us actually do it? Why are we so hesitant? Perhaps it’s because the project can quickly become bigger, more complex and more expensive than we’d intended. What’s needed is a practical road map for thinking through the process of remodeling, keeping an eye firmly on what’s really needed. More often than not, less is more. This presentation, based on the book of the same name, helps homeowners sort out their priorities and identify solutions to their home design problems without breaking the bank.