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Slow Design

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Design Dictionary

Part of the book series: Board of International Research in Design ((BIRD))

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Slow design goes far beyond the act of designing. It is an approach that encourages a slower, more considered, and reflective process, with the goal of positive well-being for individuals, societies, environments, and economies. Slow design positions itself again the “fast design” of the current industrial paradigm, which is governed by unsustainable cycles of fashion and over-consumption, business ethics, and an anthropology that defines everyone as customers. The use of “slow” as an adjective, or instructive adverb, deliberately introduces ambiguity in this context; it implies that time is implicit in all facets of (the) design, and that the purpose is to slow down the process, the outcome, and the effects of the outcome.

The anthropocentric and eco-efficient tenets of slow design have many antecedents, from the late-nineteenth-century British and American (→) Arts & Crafts movements to the present day. The anthropocentric root can be traced back to the post-1950s design movements...

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  • Fuad-Luke, A. 2003. Slow. March 2003 to present.

  • Manzini, E., and F. Jégou. 2003. Sustainable everyday: Scenarios of urban life. Milan: Edizioni Ambiente.

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  • Strauss, C. et al. 2003–6. SlowLab. 2003 to present.

  • Van Hinte, E. 2004. Eternally yours: Time in design. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers.

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Michael Erlhoff Tim Marshall

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© 2008 Birkhäuser Verlag AG

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Fuad-Luke, A. (2008). Slow Design. In: Erlhoff, M., Marshall, T. (eds) Design Dictionary. Board of International Research in Design. Birkhäuser Basel.

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