Hey y’all,

So I spend most of my days perusing through magazines and browsing online for the latest and greatest in the world of art and design and figured I might as well share my discoveries with the cyber world.  So let’s give this a try, eh?

I don’t know where this thing will lead, if anywhere.  Maybe it will primarily benefit myself, organizing and timelining my thoughts.  Regardless, I will look to post little snippets of the creative world that have somehow found their way into my imagination.  Most of what I will share will contribute to a ‘metro hippies’ lifestyle.  So, obviously, first things first… what is a metro hippie?  Unless you consider yourself socially inept, you probably can piece the two words together to get an idea of what, or who, one is… Simply put, a metro hippie is someone who is driven equally by aesthetics and the environment.  It’s a new wave of person who doesn’t want to be represented by ti-dye or birkenstocks, but by cutting edge technologies and products that employ ideas of sustainability.

I recently read that 70% of Americans are sympathetic to the ‘green’ cause (ie. climate change, energy crisis, etc), but less than 20% metaphorically walk the walk.  This claims that half of our populous is interested in creating a greener life for themselves but lack the initiative to make any changes…. My goal is to make good, green information accessible to everyone and to get the creative juices flowing in people’s blood streams.  Sound reasonable?

So here’s a start… perhaps the metro hippies’ utopia.  It’s the Living Home, a prefab, LEED Platinum residence based out of LA.  Absolutely gorgeous structure, with all the bells and whistles.  This is like a hybrid SUV of the building world.  Living green never felt or looked so good!… I won’t get too crazy on what makes it a head-above-the-rest project at this point, but simply use it as a reference of what’s possible, and where the building industry hopefully will be heading.

This project was built with a mission of sustainability on its mind.  It rigorously followed the LEED structure and utilized a number of key green strategies.  First off, it is a prefab home, meaning it wasn’t built on site but was pre-fabricated in a warehouse.  This theoretically increases the efficiency of the construction process and minimizes room for error.  It was then trucked to the site and assembled in a period of days.  Other green decisions included: location in an urban environment, ie close to mass transit, shops, etc., sustainably harvested woods for interior, extreme sensitivity to water and energy consumption, locally sourced and recycled materials, photovolteic system, and zero VOC (volatile organic compound, or toxic) paints and stains, amongst many other things.

…I love the interiors of the LivingHome.  The material selection, scale and colors all create an extremely fresh environment that I would like to think help the homeowners connect with the natural world.  It is almost minimal/industrial, but warm and livable at the same time.  Plants are scattered throughout, bridging interior space with exterior.


So a pretty cool home, eh?… This is a great example of a holistic green effort and what it can add up to be.  A healthy, beautiful home with a very small ecological footprint…. This home is definitely not for everyone though.  It runs about $250/ft and actually is quite large.  It’s critisism lies here…. many argue that true sustainability is living in smaller spaces, thus minimizing resources, lowering heating/cooling costs, etc.  Regardless, the LivingHome succeeds in capturing the imagination and representing the idea that living a green life doesn’t mean sacrificing style, but rather enhances it… and that’s what a true metro-hippie is out to prove!



About Joshua Foss

Joshua is a leading voice for transformational change. He is the editor of Metro Hippie, co-founder and director of development of the Ecala Group, and adjunct faculty at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He is also an ambassador for the Living Building Challenge and is a frequent speaker at national conferences, trade shows and summits.