Known for their forward-thinking approach to mass manufacturing with wood-based designs, Italy’s Slow Wood is also an innovative incubator for spearheading ideas and initiatives in wooden craft design…particularly in the realm of disrupting traditional manufacturing supply chains by employing a private network of Italian artisanal makers.

Founded by wood expert, preservationist and entrepreneur Gianni Cantarutti, Slow Wood has “a competitive advantage in both the production of unique pieces of art and the realization of tailor-made projects,” according to their bio.

Through a network of over 30 Italian wood artisan craftsmen, the Slow Wood team matches up talented designers to execute modern designs through their curated network of artisanal craftsmen…which are then sold via private retailers. Essentially, Slow Wood is playing matchmaker for bringing Italian designers and traditional craftsmen together.

“In the age of speed, low cost and poor communication, Slow Wood is dedicated to the people who look for the essence and quality.”

According to Slow Wood, the artisan businesses that they work with have a range of different skill sets and production capabilities. When combining the best of each artisan in their network, they are able to seamlessly blend the ‘slow craft’ culture with a more traditional manufacturing supply chain…which is not only great for small businesses but also from a sustainability standpoint.

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“(Our) deep knowledge in wood culture allows Slow Wood to stand out between the traditional manufacturers, offering the use of wood species that are valuable but sustainable.”

For one of their most recent pieces, the Teca, Slow Wood reached into their network of artisans to craft a ceiling light made of blown glass, hand turned metal and of course, raw wood.

Needless to say, the resulting design not only looks amazing, but also carries an equally-impressive creation narrative behind it:

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You can check out more on the design and business model over at Slow Wood.

Author

Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.