Cincinnati: Slow Food to Slow Design



Funky chicken in David’s backyard.

This past weekend, I flew out to Cincinnati to visit my friend David who I wrote about a couple of years ago here. He and his wife live in an old brick Victorian in Cincinnati’s Northside District and the chicken above is one of four living in his backyard (amongst a garden of fruits, vegetables, spices, and soon to be rainwater collection barrel slash tilapia pond). When I met David, five or so years ago when he was working in San Francisco, he really inspired me to start thinking about the way I live and how to live resourcefully. He is an advocate of the Slow Food movement and he even practices some of these ideals in his industrial design career.




I didn’t really know what to expect from Cincinnati, honestly. I imagined it as some flat Midwestern farmland state with a pretty ordinary lifestyle. I was pleasantly surprised by all of the progressiveness and similarities to Northern California. I really got the impression that there is a budding Slow Food community that has been years and years in the making. There were quite a few restaurants we visited that sourced a majority of their meats, vegetables, and spices locally. In the case of Chalk Food + Wine some of their spices were even grown in an indoor garden in the restaurant’s basement. In addition to that, rent in some of Cincinnati’s up and coming neighborhoods are very affordable and as a result there are quite a few twenty and thirty-somethings starting new Slow Food ventures.

For even more information about local eats in Cincinnati, check out the Central Ohio River Valley Food Guide.





Earlier I mentioned that David applies some of the principles of Slow Food to his design process. He has a vision of replacing the car with a vehicle that has the human powered benefits of a bicycle and the aerodynamic, utility, weatherproofing benefits of a car. He will reference how much innovation the bicycle design went through during the Victorian era (from early wooden draisine to a very likeness of today’s bicycle design) and is inspired by the possibility that we are amongst another revolutionary period in the way we travel.

David is a really talented industrial designer and he has gone through several iterations of vehicle design. Unlike many of the concept vehicles out there that are designed to be imagined, this vehicle is something that is actually designed to be built. And that is truly something that separates a great industrial designer from a great artist.

You can keep in touch with David’s work in the following ways:

Twitter
Flickr
Blog

And since he’s relatively new to the Web2.0 sphere, give him some online love!

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