Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Response 4, Slow Design - Julio

Strauss and Fuad-Luke present in this paper a series of “guiding principles” or flexible rules that can be used to attain what they have coined as “Slow Design”. I am not usually a fan of rules of thumb, or theories that over-simplify a whole practice to a series of rules that, if applied correctly, lead to a successful finished product/idea/design… or whatever they are dealing with. Therefore I was somehow skeptical about the paper at first, but, after reading the guides, and even more important, the examples they give to each of the guiding principles, I have to say that I changed my mind.

I consider the guiding principles they present to be open enough to allow them to be applied to a very broad set of fields (all design related fields too, of course), and this is clearly seen by the range of examples they present. Personally, I have to say that the idea that really captivated me was “[…] slowing the metabolism of people, resources and flows”. I just think the societies of developed countries need this idea, but not only applied to design, but to every single field.

Nevertheless, regardless of my personal inclination to the idea of slowing our metabolisms (through revealing, expanding, reflecting…etc), I found the description of the workshop that Fuad-Luke run to be quite less deep into the matter than it should. Maybe it is just a matter of the short description of the workshop that is presented, but from my perspective, it looks like a methodology to create collaborative designs. That is to say, even though it is an interesting methodology, it does not go as far as the Slow Design principles state. Collaborative design is not a groundbreaking idea (and its not their only point), so I believe the workshops they create to introduce the Slow Design principles should go a little bit further in how they change the methodology of design (which I found very interesting an potentially positive).

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