Hello, there! Today, I’m having one of those difficult days where there’s simply so much to be done and said that I feel a little overwhelmed. Hence, I decided to take a deep breath and pace myself and write about Slow Design. Some of you may have heard of Slow Food. That’s pretty close in concept. Slow Design is a branch of the Slow Movement that aims for a better well being of people, both, as individuals and part of a society within a natural environment. I hope I didn’t just lose you. For those that are still with me, thank you! I will make it worthwhile.
As I was saying, all great things take time, including design. All designs start out as a possibility, an idea and turn into a plan with a tender and a budget and finally they come to life. It is a multi-step procedure that evolves over time and the more time a designer spends on the planning process the better the design. Sounds like common sense. Right? It is! I think Vito Acconci, an American designer (1940-2017), said it in the best possible way:
Architecture is not about space, but about time.
He was absolutely right. Spaces are merely created, formed and shaped in order for people, under given conditions, to enjoy their time in them. It takes a good amount of effort to design a space that people will take pride in and simultaneously accommodate for their needs. This is where Slow Design comes in and tries to claim “time” from this rapid changing world that hardly processes things anymore before it ‘chews them and spits them out.’ Slow Design is not some rigid body of design rules. However, it is based on certain principles that we can all employ for a better living.
Slow Design Principles
Shop slower. I definitely don’t have anything against fast-track furniture brands, or ordering something online. However, taking our time will ensure more thoughtfulness into our shopping and less regrets later.
Select modular and multi-functional pieces taking into account both short and long – term use.
Shop handmade goods and support Fair Trade. There’s true beauty and uniqueness to be found in handmade goods. Support your local craftsmen and opt for cultural diversity. That’s the best way to build an eclectic style.
Choose sustainable furniture.
Allow your home to grow and evolve with you. Great homes don’t come about overnight.
So, how does Slow Design improve our living? It calls for us to do things at a slower pace, to tailor everything to our specific needs and adapt more flexible and distinctive solutions, in order to appreciate everything more while taking more pleasure out of everything. It is all about achieving an overall balance or Lagom – a Swedish word for “enough, sufficient, just right.”
Although I’m an old advocate of Slow Design, I didn’t know about this Swedish word that best describes the aim of this Slow Movement. To be perfectly honest, I first read about Lagom in Niki Brantmark’s interior design blog – the curator of MyScandinavianHome. Needless to say, that I’m now one of her newest fans. She in fact, inspired me to write this post when she replied to a comment of mine telling me to “quote” her on Slow Design next time! In any case, the main thing that has captivated me about her approach is her unpretentious easy – going vibe I get from her. I would have never guessed that she’s a Brit if she didn’t write it in her bio. She appears to be way too agreeable – sorry my Brit friends – you’re also cool! 😉 And my best guess is that it’s because she has managed to find Lagom in her life in Sweden. So, when I read about her new book titled Lagom, that’s coming out this September 21st, it all started to make sense to me. Her latest book is filled with ideas covering all real life aspects having a first hand experience with the philosophy of feeling enough. After all, the Swedish have turned it into an art, so she must know all about it by now!
I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on this book, so I can share more of it with you all. As for Niki, I truly wish her the best!