Working from a small town, the first question people wonder is “if you’re such a good designer why are you living in a small town in Alabama/” It’s not something they come out and ask but it’s an underlying thing they think until they work with you and then they realize it’s a lifestyle choice and not a setback. Most of our clients see it as an asset. They feel like we give them something fresh that the designers in the bigger cities can’t give them.
Traditionally Slow Design has these six components (defined by the slow lab project)
1. Reveal: Slow design reveals spaces and experiences in everyday life that are often missed or forgotten, including the materials and processes that can easily be overlooked in an artifact’s existence or creation.
2. Expand: Slow design considers the real and potential “expressions” of artifacts and environments beyond their perceived functionality, physical attributes and lifespans.
3. Reflect: Slowly-designed artifacts and environments induce contemplation and ‘reflective consumption.’
4. Engage: Slow design processes are “open source” and collaborative, relying on sharing, co-operation and transparency of information so that designs may continue to evolve into the future.
5. Participate: Slow design encourages people to become active participants in the design process, embracing ideas of conviviality and exchange to foster social accountability and enhance communities.
6. Evolve: Slow design recognizes that richer experiences can emerge from the dynamic maturation of artifacts and environments over time. Looking beyond the needs and circumstances of the present day, Slow Design processes and outcomes become agents of both preservation and transformation.
Belle Chevre: This goat cheese from rural Alabama is sold in Beverly Hills and Dean & Deluca in New York City. Tasia Malakasis is the face of this passionate company. Tasia has so much vision for her cheeses. Not only are the cheeses innovative (she has a whole line of breakfast cheeses) but the packaging is hip, with an appeal to a younger demographic. Her goal is to sell cheese back to the French and she will do it. For a small town Alabama Cheese she is already sold on the east and west coast of the U.S.
Knobstoppers & Cake Vintage: Featuring paper goods and accessories for the table that are sold at retailers such as Anthropologie, West Elm, and Williams-Sonoma. They have a traditional classic stye and design. They have unique table papers for food. Classic designs used in contemporary ways. So their innovation is more with reuse than unique design.
Bella Cucina: The pleasures of dining with Bella Cucina’s foods as well as their ceramics, linens and home goods are a luxury you can take home with you- or enjoy at their shopping and dining location, Porta Via in Atlanta, GA. It’s hard to beat Italy when it comes to food. Smith has done a killer job with the design and his wife has done an incredible job with the food. Just look at the packaging and it evokes what is on the inside and what the whole company is about. Simple, detailed, chic.
He works out of a magnificently converted historic building in downtown Tuscumbia and he lives on a small farm with his wife and four children.