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107 | In Defense of Slowness

Spencer Bailey is a writer, editor, journalist, strategist and host of the podcast shows Time Sensitive and At A Distance. He is the editor-at-large of the book publisher Phaidon and co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Slowdown, a media company. He was previously the editorial director of Surface Media and the editor-in-chief of Surface magazine, and has contributed to publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Town & Country Magazine, Fortune, Newsweek, and Bloomberg Businessweek.

107 | In Defense of Slowness

Bailey has become a vocal advocate for the practice of slow design and slow media, an idea itself that has recently accelerated with the publication of books like Slow Media: Why Slow is Satisfying, Sustainable, and Smart by Jennifer Rauch. Bailey, Rauch and others increasingly make the case that the speed at which media is made, and the speed at which it is consumed have potentially negative side effects. Having a new abundance of information is a wonderful tool, but there has to also be an emphasis on media that’s made conscientiously. He co-founded The Slowdown, a media company that curates stories from across the cultural landscape and cuts through the information noise all around to present relevant perspectives. He also hosts Slowdown’s Time Sensitive podcast, where he interviews leading personalities on their life viewed through the lens of time, and the At A Distance podcast, where he calls on leading scientists and technologists, artists and climate activists to zoom out and look at some of the planet’s most pressing issues.

Over the course of his career, Bailey has interviewed hundreds of leading architects, artists, designers, and others, including David Adjaye, Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Ian Schrager, and Kanye West. He wrote and edited the book Tham ma da: The Adventurous Interiors of Paola Navone in 2016 about the work of designer Paola Navone. At Surface, Bailey helped launch the Design Dialogues live conversation series, of which he was a frequent moderator, and the creative agency Surface Studios.

Bailey is the co-chair of the Board of Trustees at the Noguchi Museum in Queens, New York, and and serves on the New York honorary committee of L’École, School of Jewelry Arts, which is supported by Van Cleef & Arpels. In 2023, he was named to the Wallpaper USA 300 list of “talents that are forging new paths through America’s design landscape.” 

We had a chance to catch up with Spencer on our podcast Social Design Insights. Have a listen at the link above.


Our opening theme music for 2019 is "Bang Bang" and our closing theme is "Salvame" both by Eljuri from her album "La Lucha." The break music for this episode is "Move to the Country" by Gaia Consort from their album "Gaia Circles."