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Howard Silverman

Pacific Northwest College of Art, Willamette University

As a future-focused activity, design is always about time. In this talk, I distinguish temporal stances and explore them through a three-part framework: design for, in, and of time. I contemplate this for/in/of framework as follows. To design for time is to aim for a particular temporal experience as a desired outcome or emergent facility of one’s design efforts. Artefacts like clocks and cathedrals, for example, each anchor human activity systems that constrain and afford temporal awareness, with very different results. Meanwhile, service and user experience designs often aim for temporal values such as convenience and efficiency. Next, given that each of us lives in time, I describe an appreciation of one’s design-in-time stance as cultivating a reflexive awareness of one’s temporal positionalities, perhaps thereby avoiding presumptive pitfalls of individual and socio-cultural temporocentrisms, such as Eurocentric historical periodisations. Third, with a design-of-time approach, one focuses attention on time itself, that is, on the potential variety and malleability of temporal compositions, perhaps by facilitating self-reflective examinations of temporal experiences, metaphors, and values. In exploring these stances and their interrelationships, I aim to elicit questions and ruminations on time-design and on how one’s design for/in/of time might contribute to one’s purposes and presences; however, they are conceived and expressed. 

KEYWORDS: temporality, futures, cybernetics, preposition play

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Citation Data

Author(s): Howard Silverman
Year: 2022
Title: Design For/In/Of Time
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 106
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/design-for-in-of-time
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 23 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404