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"slowLab" Tag


A Slow design network


Monday, January 28, 2013


Maria Blaisse's explorations of form and matter inspire new visions of symbiosis with our surroundings.

Slow design is a continuing inspiration to the Designblog program. If you slow down and take a minute you will see that there are many entries linking it to interesting “projects” done in the past & inspiring work related to the ideas of slow design. Use the ‘slowdesign’, slowlab’, ‘slowme’ tags, you can easily find them in the pink ‘tag-bar’.

If you want to know what ‘Slow design knowledge’ is, take a look at the video and be inspired by the beautiful images and music in it ;)   Or check out their Facebook organization page [x] slowLab – A Slow Design Network /note that entries are viewable whether or not you have a Facebook account yourself.   They’ve recently posted there about how Maria Blaisse’s explorations of form and material inspire new visions for Slow urbanism, as well as about Pia Lindman’s Slow view of democracy-in-action, Kate Fletcher’s recent ‘Local Wisdom’ event in NYC, and how YOU can be part of designing the first Slow Design Reader.  Take a look. let them know what you think, and share the link with others!

post suggested by Elisa van Joolen

SlowLab, thinking and creative activism


Sunday, January 29, 2012

To summarize the context I first must mention- with the freedom of a resident of here and today – the presence of pressure and calling out resent for (this interpretation of) passive living. With that, a near apocalyptic sort of set creation takes place. It receives emphatic caricatures, tragic responsibilities, gets greatly busy scenery’s to play on, and personally – I have a dislike for tricks in most cases. Not that I don’t care for the drama, it is the very reciprocal end, of paying respect to voices in letting them be exactly what they are.

In theory, slow design agrees with my thought. Carolyn F Strauss saw faults in the growing movements of green design, and overproduction of recycled/recyclable designs with wonky purposes – “We should be calling into question the need for the product in the first place.”. The economical success of key wording pollution, organic and related terminology grew and hasn’t reclined much since, the very idea of reducing production overproduced, and did so quickly.

What the slow movement suggested is a reduction with increased effort. The time needed for the process of manufacturing most things shortens exponentially to the cost – spiraling in recent event, time is money they say, slow designs agree differently. A pair of trousers whose material has circled the Earth several times even before being sewn together, has then been sent on a series of to a majority unknown routes before finally reaching y/our unimpressed hands – is replaced by a dazzling piece of phantom experience and craft, culture and tradition are now personal choices and flavors. As long as our story is near geographically, associatively or else, and beaded with time, it is what slow tells about in it’s forms.

In this sense, daily designs gain back their emotional and such weight in style and charm of a hand-made product, we make slow but noteworthy changes in ways of everyday consumption,  directing the trend rightfully. So I see visions of Strauss, who founded SlowLab in 2003, as a vent for ideas of applied activism, designs and debates on this slow framework within a worldwide web of selected individuals, based in New York, US. Through series of lectures and projects we get an insight to a philosophy with few examples of artists making (todays) drastic choices in technicalities of work methods and building new or bringing back old manufacturing principles, such as Judith van den Boom who’s taken the knowledgeable Chinese porcelain worker out of the factory into a small and personal area for working, learning and collaborative design. Focus frequently falls on ideas, and magnify a personalization – in form a sustainability factor – of objects, an illusion of a caring presence is cast to put the viewer into romanticized relationships with his toys. We wait for your mail accordingly through a programmed lens of another rational design, listen to amplified cooking sounds while reaping scents of it’s making, in a sort of disposable but pleasant and seedful event. Reflective research fruits a wearable face of inevitable and looked-over slow processes, not the first of SlowLab’s collaboration with former or present Rietveld students . It peeks a little outside the umbrella of the boldly tagged holistic promise, and resorts often to mid-flight concepts in elaborate captions, with it’s patterning accents on context and sacrificial imagery of more or less extreme discomfort as a crime against nature.

I have a hard time agreeing on sets of carved rules, and think one should be as careful and discrete with evoking guilt in other beings as can be. Moral justification does not make (good) artistic experience good,  neither does over politeness. But we can make a lot of solid exceptions for this in design, and the power of suggestion in a possible event differs from an artists dense sensation to be experienced attentively, also not to be overlooked is the responsibility of a designer of largely produced goods, and creator of appliances to be sent randomly into living and often outlive it’s maker. What I miss is a striking moment, like the gasp for air after having or witnessing a brilliant idea, otherwise I feel I might be convinced, perhaps this is the way of having framework. A sharp, clear thought, strong visual motor, an undirected balance that leads to somewhere like this. Maybe it is too ideological to expect of pieces a mapped idea with limited or no description, this sort of modulation seems crucial though, and a set of produces that need not much or any sugarcoating. I think the slow designers, and all artists concerned with environmental damage a cruelly run contemporary life allows, should take the green trend as a mean to challenge their own work, and distinct themselves in opportunist waters by finding strong subtleties for use in triggering thoughts rather than speaking them into a bore. We see the blueprint in our every day life already, respond to it most strongly when the message comes on it’s own, and we all have many factors afloat – a suggestive shooter like this is surrounded by comfy amounts of room for exploring abstraction and rock and roll, yet it stays easy. What I try to say is – we should be raising awareness by raising awareness levels, and sway to an old fashioned need to please and show (off) our very best, even if it means falling outside the fixed frame of your politically correct ideology – at least, we will be left with a loud work to discuss, debate, come back to and so forth.

Carolyn F Strauss with SlowLab sends out promising goals and messages, and should have space enough to branch and develop a captivating and elegant design, which sends us to a slow but sweet relationship with the inanimate, and gradually teaches importance of lively touch.

slowWall: tagging slow design part 2


Monday, May 4, 2009

After lecturing on “slow principles in design and art” by Carolyn F. Strauss, students reflected upon their own work and process before starting a research into a variety of slow design and art related subjects. To clarify the effect slow design can have on the work in progress we invited Marie Ilse Bourlanges to present her work and share insight in her working process.

To present Slow Design a carefully selected list of research subjects was crafted. This selection presented “slowdesign” in various contexts of works and ideas (even ideologies), so that it could be recognized as a set of priciples against which ideas, processes, motives and outcomes can be interrogated. Much emphasis was put on the creation of specific keywords to accompany the students on their research. Keywords/tags that surfaced during the Slow Design Lecture and keywords/tags that were formulated at the slowLab website were added to the search subjects. These tags together with the ones created on the “slowWall” added meta data to the project


a physical process of linking and tagging with crèpetape and post-its.

Within this context adopting slow design as a working principle in our educative process, it became important to underline and make visible the relations between these student investigations. To emphasise a surfacing network between the subjects we did draw visible links between the research results, adding link topics. Additional tags could be post-it to each others research A4 to create shared keywords/tags.

Tags (trefwoorden [dutch] or entrances) are non-hierarchical keywords or terms. They make possible to search and find data. Tags create meta data. During the past years Web 2.0 applications like Youtube and Flickr added immensely by allowing users to add “free-form” tags as a tool for searching. The interesting thing is that tagging presents a system in which there is no information about the meaning or semantic of each tag. Orange might refer to fruit or color. Retagging found data even led to tag based social networks on the web. Tagging on this Designblog!

read also: tagging slowdesign part 3

wall tagging-linking methodology by Carolyn F.Strauss : slowLab


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