• sPACE

    Meet sPACE,  a system that aims at visualizing your rhythms in work life. The three elements of the system can work both together or individually. It has various degrees of control; with PaceMaker, which is an artistic representation of your daily rhythm, you can just be an observer. With Thoughts on Slow, an interactive notebook, you are allowed to create a roadmap for yourself. Buggy, the most active element, helps you to organize your life and take action on slowing down.

  • The Kit

    There are three elements to the sPACE kit

    Buggy

    Take your sPACE
    Buggy is a desktop calendar and focus booster acting as a companion to keep your work life in order. It is the most active participant of the sPACE kit. Through the system it shows you your daily tasks, monthly schedules and meetings.

    PaceMaker

    See your PACE

    PaceMaker is an artistic representation of your daily rhythm. It is formed as a photo-frame that either sits on your desks or hangs in the room. The dial does not  as the system calibrates according to you and you only. This results in you having a unique paceMaker, visualizing your own pace.

    Thoughts on Slow

    Create yourself
    Thoughts on slow gives voice to the exploration and questioning of your pace, explains and co-creates with you the principles, methodologies and backbone of slowing down for your life.
  • Order Now!

    Order your sPACE kit to create space in your life!

  • What is slow?

    Pace of life - Fast-er-er-er

    The perceived increase in the pace of life is not unique to our generation. Since the industrial revolution, advances in technology and incorporation of machines to daily life enabled faster ways of doing things. Though these fast ways were thought to be freeing up space, what they actually did was to shift the standards and expectations; for example having a vacuum cleaner meant higher cleanliness standards. In his book “A geography of time”, Robert Levine mentions that the farmwives in the 1920’s who were without electricity, spent significantly less time doing housework than did suburban women with all their modern machinery, in the latter half of the century. As a result, the very designs that were made to save time became labor saving devices that did not save work. (Levine, 1997)

     

    Fastness can be defined as the measurement of speed. But what is speed? Doors of perception offers a great definition and history about it: “The Oxford English Dictionary gives old meanings of speed, which sound strange and alien to us: abundance, success, fortune, lot, assistance, help. Today, if somebody talks about ‘speed’, we understand it to be the property of a process, mostly a movement in time, that — at least in principle — can be measured by an instrument, by a technical device, and therefore can be compared. This notion of speed — as expressed in units like km/h or r.p.m. — connotates a uniform movement. It is a mechanical speed. Mechanical speed was invented together with the railroad. I doubt very much that this notion of speed, brought forth by the machines which humans invented, is the idea one should have in mind talking about humans themselves, about ourselves. It doesn’t really matter wether we wish the ‘speed of the human society’ to accelerate or to slow down — as long as we look at humans with speed in mind, we won’t look at humans humanely.” (Trapp, 2013)

    The concept of slow - Smell the roses

    “Being Slow means that you control the rhythms of your own life. You decide how fast you have to go in any given context. If today I want to go fast, I go fast; if tomorrow I want to go slow, I go slow. What we are fighting for is the right to determine our tempos.”

    Carlo Petrini
     
    Aspects of slowing down may have its roots at the start of the industrialization era (Bidney, 2002) but the first time the word “Slow” was used to describe a philosophy, was during the Slow Food movement. Founded in Italy in 1989 as a counter culture for Fast Food and its impacts on local traditions and environment, the movement protested the “fast life” that industrialization created. The founder, Carlo Petrini explains this as: “[Fast food] diminish opportunities for conversation, communion, quiet reflection, and sensuous pleasure, thus short-changing the hungers of the soul.” (Jackson, 2007)
     

    The Slow Movement describes a wide range of actions, from slow cities, (Cittaslow, 1999) to education, sex to travel and even leisure, taking place around purposefully slowing down the in order to enjoy life more and create “time and space”. In this context slow is now not just a term to describe the lack of speed, but a change of perspective. Carl Honore explains in his book in Praise of Slow as “The Slow philosophy is not about doing everything at a snail’s pace. It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed.” (Honoré, 2004, p. 14)

    Slow design – Sustainability in many scales

    Slow design, a term first coined by Alistair Fuad-Luke, can be considered as the modern reflection of the Arts and Crafts movement, due to its sustainable and holistic approach that supports creating solutions for the well-being of people and the planet, and building meaningful relationships. In his paper “Slow”, Fuad-Luke frames slow design as a multilayered term that may refer to process, outcome or the philosophical approach of design. (Fuad-Luke, 2002) In this project, the weight is on the philosopical approach  which I believe questions the role of the designer, as well as the design practice. 
     

    Albeit not the main goal, understanding the role and work of the designer is important in my project. As mentioned in the motivations, we as designers talk about sustainability of our products often, but never the “sustainability” of the designer. The slow design approach: “... provide a lens through which to more intimately understand one’s own identity as a designer, to reflect upon the design processes one employs, to evaluate tangible outcomes, and to imagine new scenarios.”  (Fuad-Luke, 2002)

     

    Slow technology - It’s a machine’s world 

    The aspect of technology, especially as an interaction designer, is not something I can put aside. Technology has played a big role in advancement of many of today’s interactions but the race between the pace of humans and pace of machines could as well be the issue to point finger at for the speed oriented life we live. Many of the design problems we face in today’s world are aimed at correcting the poorly-considered technological aspects. The solution is not to take technology out of our lives, but to offer a different perspective. Slow technology, that is “aimed at reflection and moments of mental rest rather than efficiency in performance” is one of the methods. Slow technology is not about making technology invisible, but about exposing technology in a way that encourages people to reflect and think about it. (Hallnäs, 2001).

    Slowing down in daily life - Reflection, friction and usability 

    “Doing without reflecting is like cooking without tasting”

     
      Ayşe Gökçe Bor
     
    The increasing use of machines and new technologies also increased the compexity of life while decreasing friction. As designer, we got better at producing more user friendly tools, such as tablets tracking eye movement to determine when to turn the  page, or services that provide everything you need in the comfort of your home. That resulted in interactions offering less and less friction. Usability, as defined by ISO 9241-210:2010 as “extent to which a system, product or service can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use” seems to rarely take into account the effectiveness of the product but more the efficiency of it. The loss of friction in turn created the loss of reflection over time. Here I would like to use the definition of  reflection as “bringing unconscious aspects of experience to conscious awareness, thereby making them available for conscious choice” (Sengers, 2013)
  • This is a prototype website for my MFA Interaction Design degree project.

    You can check out my blog to get more information on the design process!