Exploring a New Way to Interact with Time
Organization / Institution: Parsons School of Design
Role: Co- Explorer
Collaborators: Shachi Shah
Location: New York
Today, time rules our lives. It dictates the flow of all our systems and activities. It is an essential tool for tracking growth and development.
However, there are significant discrepancies between the study of spacetime, the current construct of time, and the lived human experience with the passage of time.
These discrepancies have acute social and cultural implications. How might we bring harmony and redesign the human experience with time?
Design fiction concept exploration
Throughout human history, the notion of time differed across cultures. In some cultures time is/was percieved as linear while others percived it to be cyclic in nature. Some cultures understood time as deeply personal, changing from person to person and from context to context.
The modern notion of standardized time was designed for efficent rail and later maritime coordination. This was first adopted by railway companies in Britan in 1847. It was not until the 20th century that worldwide time zones universally adopted the standard offset from GMT/UTC. The last country to do so was Nepal, as recent as 1956. Following a universally standard method for timekeeping, provided the right conditions for global trade, communication and travel to flourish.
Today, technology enables us to live in a hyper-networked, seemingly borderless world where some version of us is present across multiple time zones. In this world, being 'on time' increasingly implies being 'in sync'.
There is also an increasing acceptance of time as not standard but individual. In the fringes of human society we have begun to see educators who are experimenting with new mechanisms to track progress centered around the student's learning curve, workspaces with relaxed deadlines, health and wellness proffessionals who are more respectful of an individual's healing time.
The objective of this project is to suspend disbelief, paint a future notion of time and use that as an artifact to generate a conversation around this topic. Is there a need to relook at our present notion of time? If so, what are some preffered directions?