Skip to content

Pschetz, Bastian and Speed – 2016 – Temporal Design: Looking at time as social coordination

Synthesis: As a concept, Temporal Design introduces a critical design approach to integrate rarely-considered alternative types of temporal expressions and artifacts in products designed for social coordination activities. The paper describes the Temporal Design process and evaluates the integration of multiple types of sociotemporalities into the design of three time-based prototypes. Barbara Adam’s work on timescapes is featured as an underlying theory about social coordination.

Foundational concepts in this study: Sociotemporality, computer-supported cooperative work, critical design

Agreement in related work: Pschetz’ work on Temporal Design borrows quite a bit from older literature on social coordination from other disciplines. It also seems to manifest in the more contemporary “slow design/slow technology” movement which seeks to infuse a more critical design stance that emphasizes self-reflection, use over time, user engagement with materials, and the felt presence of time. But as this appears to be a new approach, the related work in HCI and CSCW is still somewhat thin.

Contested areas: Pschetz, et al., argue that the design of temporal products is too often dominated by Western/industrial concepts of time as future-oriented, linear, and/or perceptions of time as slow (and anti-technology) vs fast (accelerated pace with little room for self-reflection).

Gaps/Limits in this study: The authors refer to “multiple temporalities” but don’t fully describe what they are and how they might differ from other sociotemporal representations/expressions. The paper also seems to gloss over concrete examples of the impact caused by their absence in product design.

Connections to my work: Coordination work, sociotemporality, participatory design

Annotated paper:

Pschetz, Bastian, Speed – 2016 – Temporal design Looking at time as social coordination

Published inannotations