Slow/d is an Italian organization seeking to disrupt traditional supply chains in design by connecting designers, consumers & artisans directly.

Traditionally, the design world (as it concerns products, textiles and artisanal goods) exists in a fragmented manner. An artist may produce something, but typically lacks the distribution infrastructure to connect that creation to an audience that will buy it. The artist will almost certainly lack the means to produce the creation at scale, as well.

The process therefore becomes controlled by manufacturers, almost by default. Manufacturers mass-produce, market, and promote designs that work well. This may seem democratic, but it completely separates the connection between artisan and consumer. It also lends itself to sterility – a product may come into high demand because it ships efficiently, and not necessarily because it has artistic merit or usefulness for the consumer.

Slow/d uses a variety of means to attempt to disrupt this paradigm. They work with artisans to design supply chains from scratch. They will also organize training sessions, workshops, and ‘moments of confrontation’ between design professionals and the allied professions which eventually consume design services. Fundamentally, they are trying to ‘de-corporatize’ design – returning the authorship of design back to the two people who really matter: the designer and the user.

From their own manifesto: “the blinding need to generate profits has created a system of production and distribution based on the exploitation of the weak. the environmental impacts of the global logistics system are unsustainable.

we have to produce what people need, when people need it and where people need it. this means supporting local economies, networks of small producers of high quality goods, once again gathering people and processes in support the culture of know-how.”

Learn more at the links below.

Slow/d Website (English)

Slow’d Website (Italian)

Slow’d at Milan Design Week

Tags: Community Development, Innovation, Product Design


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