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'Slow design'?

Since its inception, slowLab has pondered the potential of the term 'Slow design.' There are many possible interpretations, as made evident by the diversity of ideas and approaches presented on our site. After much exploration, dialogue and iteration, slowLab arrived at a framework for Slow design which follows six principles:

1. Reveal:  Slow design reveals spaces and experiences in everyday life that are often missed or forgotten, including the materials and processes that can easily be overlooked in an artifact’s existence or creation.

2. Expand: Slow design considers the real and potential “expressions” of artifacts and environments beyond their perceived functionality, physical attributes and lifespans.

3. Reflect: Slowly-designed artifacts and environments induce contemplation and ‘reflective consumption.’ 

4. Engage: Slow design processes are “open source” and collaborative, relying on sharing, co-operation and transparency of information so that designs may continue to evolve into the future.

5. Participate: Slow design encourages people to become active participants in the design process, embracing ideas of conviviality and exchange to foster social accountability and enhance communities.

6. Evolve: Slow design recognizes that richer experiences can emerge from the dynamic maturation of artifacts and environments over time. Looking beyond the needs and circumstances of the present day, Slow design processes and outcomes become agents of both preservation and transformation.

In 2008, slowLab's Carolyn Strauss and Alastair Fuad-Luke published a research paper about the Slow Design principles. Download the full .pdf here >


How do you define slow design? Tell us >