Inspired by Slow Design

I recently received Natalie Chanin's second book, Alabama Studio Style, and it's just as inspiring as the first. And the designs and photographs are just as beautiful. Her sentiments about returning to her hometown to work with local artisans to create contemporary clothing based on traditional crafting techniques... Well, it just about breaks my heart in all the right places. I'm not only inspired by her design and her use of materials, but I'm also inspired by her philosophy and her cultivation of that philosophy too. Swoon, swoon.

In reading through her second book my heart raced with her mention of Slow Design. Living in the Bay Area, I've known about the Slow Food movement but I hadn't heard much about the theory of Slow Design. It's one of the things I miss the most about graduate school: the study of creative theory and the space to gather around a large table to hash it out. So, I've taken it upon myself to do a little research and I'm happily basking in a few new-to-me sites: One, Two, and Three. I currently can't read enough about this movement and its thinkings and principles. I'm inspired-- my heart's aflutter.

I'm staying cozy in these first few weeks of the New Year, glad to have a little time between art deadlines to read, bake, research, and daydream when I'm not at the office. I'm also excited for a few events this weekend: EmSpace Dance, The Companion Piece, and Alison Pebworth at the Smiths storefront. Between dreaming and reading, I'm trying to pencil in the time to get out and about too. Soon February will be here and everything will be full of frenzy. Le sigh.

(PS--The winner from last week's giveaway is posted in the comments section of last week's post. Thank you very much for your feedback, you're a blogger's best friend, you know? xoxo, k.)


  1. Katrina,

    Yes! We had the same reaction when we first heard about Slow Design. The ideas (mostly written about by Alastair Fuad-Luke) were very close to the things we have been thinking about.

    We recently started our own monthly local Slow Design gathering with other aligned designers. We get into some really interesting topics, and of course there’s food and socializing involved.

    Here is our Slow Design page. It's a summary of how we see Slow Design and how we now apply it as “slow life designers”. I’d love to hear about other good bits you find in your searching.

    And, while I’m here, I really love the aesthetic you bring to all of your work. It really resonates with craftsmanship, love, and a connection to the materials.

    Eric Storm

  2. I'm with you. Time "to read, bake, research, and daydream" is what these first January days are all about. Enjoy! Feast well. Yes, more please.

  3. I like the idea of slow design, slow most things, really. Such beautiful and peaceful photographs. Thanks.

  4. Shauna1/19/2011

    i'm inspired by those earrings you're wearing!!!

  5. I'm totally interested in reading some theory on Slow Design. Maybe we could have a little Slow Design discussion group or something!

    I get so frustrated with how graphic design is practiced for the most part these days (not slowly at all) and am so drawn to craftspeople's ways.

    Before I had heard of Slow Design, I posted this Slow Clothes post over on Sew Green. You might like the Wendell Berry quote I posted there about craftspeople.

    Also, it was interesting to read on that Slow Design link you posted about rituals. Rituals are one of the things I want to think about more in 2011. Want to figure out how to incorporate more rituals in my life. Rambling. :-)

  6. Eric: Thank you for visiting, good to learn more about the work you all are doing.

    Gracia: Oh, what fun your January is shaping up much like mine. It seems right, to let the year unfold slowly.

    Denise: Slow most things, I totally agree. Except, maybe, for my wireless connection and the time to kick a cold! Otherwise, slow for me.

    Shauna: Thank you, sweets. They were a gift.

    Shash: So glad you love this too. Let's talk about it on our ladies away weekend. Seems like a perfect time to digest and discuss.


Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.