Boston Globe Spreads the Word About Slow Space Movement

slow space

Boston Globe Spreads the Word About Slow Space Movement

In the Boston Globe article, “Slow Space is design with dignity” by Renée Loth, Mette Aamodt explains the principles behind the Slow Space Movement. An excerpt of the article is reprinted below.

What we mean by Slow Space is places that allow for a connection between ourselves and the world that is deeper and more meaningful than the boxes we inhabit day to day.

You’ve probably heard of the slow food movement: the idea that our meals should be wholesome, sustainable, and locally sourced — that is, the opposite of fast food. (And no, it’s not about eating snails.) Started in 1986 by an Italian farmer protesting the arrival of a McDonald’s in Rome, the movement has spawned a variety of offshoots, including slow travel, slow fashion, slow medicine, and slow parenting.

 

Now comes slow architecture, or as its adherents often refer to it, Slow Space. Applied to buildings and public spaces, the movement’s principles include using local, nontoxic materials, respecting community traditions, and fair treatment of local labor. Slow space promotes a human-scaled environment and the somewhat less tangible idea of human dignity. “There are so many ways to slice it,” says Cambridge architect Mette Aamodt, “but what we mean is places that allow for a connection between ourselves and the world that is deeper and more meaningful than the boxes we inhabit day to day.” She uses words like empathy, intuitive, reflective. Slow space is the opposite of junk space.

 

A good example is a district hospital in Burtaro, Rwanda, designed for the international aid group Partners in Health by Boston architect Michael Murphy of MASS Design Group. The team wanted to reverse poor conditions at local hospitals that tended to spread communicable diseases and often made patients sicker. They installed large windows that open to freshening breezes and used permeable pavement to minimize the standing water that breeds insects. The hospital was constructed with 100 percent local labor, employing nearly 4,000 residents to excavate, construct, and manage the project. The buildings are clad in volcanic rock from a nearby mountain range that could be worked by local stone masons, keeping costs low and reducing the environmental footprint that comes with imported materials.

 

Read the full article here.

 

Read more about the Slow Space Movement here.

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