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Tag: timescapes

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.

Adam – 2004 – The Quest for Time Control

Summary: Adam argues that sociotemporal reactions/responses/concepts have deep historical roots and intercultural relationships. Current ways of thinking about time continue to be significantly influenced by post-industrial socio-economic constructs, like clock-time, labor efficiencies (speed/compression), value metaphors (commodity, control), and geopolitics (colonialization, power). From this foregrounding, Adam introduces the concept of timescapes — “a cluster of temporal features, each implicated in all the others but not nec­essarily of equal importance in each instance.”

Synthesis: Adams argues here and through her other papers that social science researchers need to focus less on the obvious temporal conflicts in everyday life and focus more on the “socio-environmental impacts, underlying assumptions and their material expressions, institutional processes and recipients’ experiences, hidden agendas and power relations, unquestioned time politics and ‘othering practices.”

Adam further notes how important it is to understand how people factor into discordant time compressions through everyday sociocultural interactions — which she refers to as “the human-technology-science-economy-equity-environment constellation.”

The control of time is futile in an interconnected network where hyper-compression has effectively rendered duration/intervals of time as unmeasurable. If temporality cannot be “measured, fixed, regulated or controlled” (see timescapes image), then time cannot be controlled. Subsequently, we need other approaches to be “in the realm of instantaneity.”