Is smaller becoming better?

First, the facts:

World Wildlife Federation (WWF) research shows people are consuming resources 20% faster than our ability to support renewal. The amount of natural resources used compared with what nature can support increased 2.5 times over the past 40 years, with the average North American using twice that of Europeans, and seven times that of Asians or Africans.

The mass production economy of the last century brought bigger houses, yards, closets, cars, supermarkets, stores, soft drinks, value meals… Garages are bigger than 1950s homes. Wal-mart’s ‘made-in-China’ prices encouraged us to buy more than we needed – leading to bigger closets and homes. It’s a vicious cycle – and it’s about to change.

Mass customization is here. Small is in.

There’s a new, evolved consciousness among the creative class, free agents, entrepreneurs and next generations – and that’s to get smaller, not bigger. Intimate cafes over big chain restaurants, Mini Coopers instead of SUVs, wireless networks instead of freeways, lofts and not so big homes over McMansions, compact urban footprints instead of sprawl, welcoming human-scaled building buildings rather than oversized ‘making a statement’ buildings, shared workplaces vs. private offices… and have you seen what mobile phones looked like 20 years ago?

Less is more.

What ‘going small’ trends have you noticed? Speak your mind below…

  • Wes Alexander

    I saw the article about Ann Arbor having a low unemployement rate. Maybe it’s because many people gave up registering. The truth is jobs are very hard to find in Ann Arbor. Or maybe the better phrase should be “jobs are very hard to get in Ann Arbor.” One reason may be the false perception of employers when they look at the job applicant. Things are so bad that it’s even hard to get Temp work because all the jobs are outside of Ann Arbor. There are many very good workers who are unemployed people walking the streets among those homeless and ex cons you see and I’m one of them who hasn’t tasted homelessness nor prison yet. For anyone who does not believe me, take a peek inside the Mich Works site on Harriet Street in Ypsilanti.