The Slow Movement, which we at Ferart Design strongly support, has been around since the 1980’s when Carlo Petrini‘s protested against the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant in Piazza di Spagna, Rome. This drew attention to what we loose when we choose corporatised, instantaneous, supply of food.
Petrini’s Slow Food manifesto was that food was not fuel for a machine but should be grown, prepared and enjoyed; doing things at a natural pace and drawing our attention to the immediacy of the action. Whether it is cultivating a plant, chopping vegetables or talking over a glass of wine – there is a human scale and the recognition of a spaciousness and a relaxation in these activities.
Which opens the question whether there is slow design, and is it intentional. As an example – the iconic Bialetti Moka Express was designed in the 1930’s and has been copied ever since. Its angular construction is a modernist icon, AND if you pour them too fast the coffee backs up against the lid and pours over the edge of the spout onto the table.
This can be avoided IF you pay close attention to the angle of the pot, the flow over the spout and the level of the coffee in the pot.
So is this a design failure or is it a throw forward from a previous era when there was more time to focus on the small things of life? Many modern coffee pot designers have eliminated the problem of over flowing spouts by creating designs that flow fast and freely. They can supply the coffee starved masses with immediate expresso coffee in voluminous and copious quantities.
But I prefer the focus and attention required by the original Bialetti design. It requires zen-like attention to pour an unspilled cup of coffee and the effort of this attention draws us away from the fluff and bother of trying to do everything at once. It brings us back to the now.