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Brief Published: 19 Nov 2013

The Slow Approach: Focus on Process


As highlighted in our Industry Trend report Design Democracy: Slow, showcasing the manufacturing process is becoming increasingly important for consumers looking to understand how their belongings are made. Aligned with this and demonstrating an alternative, more prolonged approach to producing ceramic objects, Chilean design studio Great Things to People has developed a way to create vessels by using fabric as a mould.

Slip (watered-down clay) is poured into the fabric. As it is absorbed through the cloth, a thin layer forms on the outside that, once hardened, can be removed. Variables such as the type of cloth, thickness of slip and the way the fabric is attached to the wooden frame can alter the resulting shape.

The fascination with exposing manufacturing techniques can also be seen in upcoming exhibition In The Making, due to open at London’s Design Museum in January 2014. Curated by London-based design duo Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, the exhibition will feature 20 objects in mid-manufacture, focusing on our continued interest in production processes and the beauty of the unfinished object. 

For more on a slower and more considered pace of manufacturing, see our Trend Update, Product Design Unplugged, and our Influencers report, Knit Like the Wind: Merel Karhof.