Slow design through positive emotional attachment
The purpose of this study and design research was the exploration of the Slow philosophy in the context of design. Slow Living is a concept developing awareness of life tempo, one that welcomes balance, awareness, depth, and a richer experience of life. A counter-narrative to the rising pace of contemporary western society endeavoring to promote personal wellbeing. In the design and product arena this pace manifests in a continuous reinvention, replacement, and ultimately discarding of products. Products of low emotional attachment, low quality, and low personal connection creating an ever-changing, waste filled landscape of living bearing little grounding for emotional stability and resulting in both unsustainable personal and environmental wellbeing. This led to the investigation of Slow Design and whether Slow Living’s goals of meaningful positive connection and harmonious life tempo with the intentions to promote personal and environmental wellbeing could translate into products with similar effects. Research began with an examination into the topics of curiosity, connectivity, and wellbeing with the objective being to an enrich and prolong user and product relationship. The study was explored using The Reservoir, a design tool for poetic research that focuses on scientific and imaginative exploration complimenting a practice-based approach in the studio. Supporting research included theories surrounding the concepts of emotional attachment, surprise and intrigue, as well as, mindfulness and grounding. This study has brought to light possible concepts that could be utilised to create positive emotional attachment between consumer and product to improve product longevity and thus ultimately improved personal and environmental wellbeing. Leading to the need for further discussion and experimentation regarding Slow Design and its ability to influence the wellbeing of society by diversifying perspective and approach to design.
Lawman, Alexandra Sara Poppy