(Views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of the author.)
The word 'slow' has been around for a while now and in many respects has taken on the mantle of a number of disciplines, or at least aspects of those disciplines, particularly in design and craft. Slow Design and Slow Craft are to some extent within the same category as both deal with aspects of the designed world around us, reflecting both the artificially human and natural world.
Slow means the physical and mental process of slowing down, taking a breath, allowing a human timescale rather than a machine one or to take control of events within our lives. In the context of design, this means re-examining the process of production, repositioning technology, and allowing room for a human dimension. It used to be considered, and still is within large sections of society, that the large scale use of technology and industry in a way that divorced itself from the human dimension, was an affirmation of our progress and destiny as a species, that it could produce items faster than hand or small-machine production, seemed almost a negligent by product, the larger the scale and the faster the production, the better. The near boast that things could only ever get better, looking at much of the pollution, degradation of the individual and social quality of life in general, as well as the lack of concern for what actually happens to the millions of items produced every day, is a very hollow, even shallow boast and perhaps shows the human species as it really is, hands forever reaching for that distant shiny future, whilst having two feet firmly sitting in the mud of reality.
Slow can be added to practically any title, giving new definition and dynamism to a subject or discipline, particularly in the creative field. To be able to stop, contemplate, be inspired, is probably the most important aspect that a human can add to the creative process, indeed, the most important. So in some respects, slow could actually be defined as human, Slow Design being the human intervention within the design world. The design and craft world needs to take a holistic approach to both designing and making. The complexities of human life, both inner and outer as well as our ability to observe and reflect, needs to be entwined with the design process, not just at the end, as a form of human veneer, but at every stage of each and every discipline from start to finish.