Embracing “Africa Time”
I read this at Cafe Bloom and it resonated with me. It explains succinctly why so many post-moderns and hipsters are attracted to all things ‘vintage’, and drawn to that which lies outside the ‘mainstream’.
The term ‘Africa Time’ has been used in jest for years to refer to (and rip off) the relaxed approach to time in Africa – one that prioritises RELATIONSHIP and EXPERIENCE over revenue and productivity. Funny though, how this tradition is becoming a trend the world over as more and more weary Westerners turn ‘back’ to values and wellbeing.
Slow food, Slow design. Slow living.
It usually takes excess to turn us off something. In this case, the overdose is mass-produced perfection and slick consumerism.
Airtight, airbrushed, air-conditioned.
Having traded communities and tradition for corporations and technology in the name of progress and profit, we are now questioning the cost of this exchange and investing again in sustainable wellbeing and meaningful fulfilment.
Wholesome, homemade and authentic are now the valued currencies.
Slow design embraces craft artefacts, vernacular design, and generations of traditional evolution. And this is not the domain of Auntie Bertha and her blue-rinse brigade, but rather of young hip women – and men – seeking traditional skills and a sense of cultural heritage and tradition.
This move aims to meet the real needs of people, space, communities, and the environment. The need for sustainability is giving greater value to timeless design that endures – to antiques, custom-made pieces and hand-carved furniture. Slow design privileges the hand of the maker and celebrates the idiosyncrasies of things IMPERFECT, AGEING and ORGANIC as an antidote to slick stylised perfection.
Slow design… it’s about time.