For many small-scale designers, connecting products to consumers is difficult. The process therefore becomes controlled by manufacturers, almost by default. Manufacturers mass-produce, market, and promote designs that work well. This separates the connection between artisan and consumer. Interesting, useful products may never reach any market at all.
Slow/d uses a variety of means 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 utilize design services. Fundamentally, they are trying to ‘de-corporatize’ design – returning the authorship of design back to the people who really matter: the designer and the user.
From the Slow/d 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 of the culture of know-how.”