slowGround

Abstract

The increase in the pace of life is becoming very tangible yet it is not visible to us in a qualitative way. Technological advancements offer us a life without friction where we can go full speed, but with this change we lose our windows for reflection and slowing down, both in space and in time. Slowness became a negative word and the benefits it offered are overlooked.

With this project, the sustainability of the human being was questioned, particularly in the work life, where our pace is the highest. An exploratory and partially critical approach was engaged in the process and different methodologies have been explored.

Inspiration and Method

This project has a two fold approach: 1- Taking a philosophical look into the way we currently design through integration of different methodologies and 2- Design interactive interventions to create discussions around the alternative pace in life.

The process and the outcome was weaved together by utilizing an explorative methodology. In addition to interaction design practive, slow design/technology principles and ancient communication methods were used. Both due to the process overlapping with the outcome and me having the opportunity to choose a topic close to my heart, the user and the designer merged together so in one way or another the process became a reflection for my own.

Critical and reflective design perspective helped the formation of the final design: “Critical designs do not necessarily need to be built; just the idea of the object itself can be enough to encourage reflection. Furthermore, although critical designs have the potential to spark reflection by users, they are often directed at designers themselves, to defamiliarize and thereby open up design practice.” (Sengers, 2013)

Result

The final design is a system that aims at visualizing our rhythms and re-embracing friction in our lives. Conventionally, design offers compensation and help in rough situations. With PaceMaker and Buggy I tried to challenge this notion by introducing a breakdown of the object. This may create both annoyance and/or emphaty and the needs of the user becomes needs of the object. The system makes the invisible pace of the user visible, and forces one to solve the problem that the object created, thus in a way helping oneself.

The objects are not meant to be seen as consumer products but objects of discussion. How would it be to have our environments reflecting our paces? What if we could see our pace and not just feel it? Do all the designed objects need to be focused on usability? How could incorporation frictions into daily life change our perception?