One of the best bits in the brilliant Canadian TV comedy Slings & Arrows (read a review) is a New Age ad agency called Frog Hammer, which offers its clients absurd advice while serving them chai in their offices, which they describe as a “brothel of the mind.” The other day, in The New York Times (which I still consider a sober paper, even post-Jayson Blair, that doesn’t indulge in sly humor masquerading as straight news articles) ran a story by Penelope Green about the Slow Design Movement that went Frog Hammer one better. The new “slow” design principles focus on doing and making things really slowly, kinda like slow food, except you can’t eat the results. A Dutch designer named Christien Meindertsma, for instance, knits things with “needles as long as yardsticks with wool spun from the fleece of Welsh sheep she’s seen in person.” Obviously, Christien hasn’t seen Black Sheep.
Knit This, Dutch Designer
Then there is one Alastair Fuad-Luke, who is not simply a designer, but a “sustainable-design facilitator.” According to Green, one of Fuad-Luke’s finest achievements was a basket that would “tip over if filled too quickly,” thus forcing the user to slow down (and curse like a Cheney, no doubt). But most Frog Hammer of all is Raw Nerve, a “graphic design and branding company,” whose Life Is Suite couch is a rescued junker that eight (count ’em, eight) designers reupholstered and printed with images from imaginary stories they concocted about the sofa’s past life. Finally, since the “parents of the sofa,” which is leather, were cows, they stuck on some pictures of cows. Luckily, this sofa is not actually for sale.