Slow Technology

In Slow Technology, Hallnas & Red strom (2001) advance the need for a form of design that emphasises reflection, the amplification of environments, and the use of technologies that a) amplify the presence of time; b) stretch time and extend processes; and c) reveal an expression of present time as slow-paced.

Important here is the concept of “time presence”: “when we use a thing as an efficient tool, time disappears, i.e. we get things done. Accepting an invitation for reflection inherent in the design means on the other hand that time will appear, i.e. we open up for time presence” (Hallnas & Redstrom 2001). A slow echnology would not disappear, but would make itself felt.

In both cases, slowness is celebrated as a re-appropriation of the senses and a reconnection with the surrounding community. The complexities addressed by these proposals, However, have often been simplified into a dichotomy of ast and slow.

The idea of making time more present/more felt is counter-intuitive to how time is experienced in crisis response as urgent, as a need for effiicency, as an intense flow (Csikszentmihalyi) that disappears. (all the above via )

There is a sense here that technology is slow or at least moves in fits and starts but needs/wants to portray itself as fast. I think that the trope of 'Disruptive Innovation' is a confuser. I will try to think about examples of machines that work as slow technologies and report back but just wanted to get that stuff off my chest.

As an alternative frame, we might explore ideas of Disruptive Inefficiency, for practices, models and technologies that disrupt the market logic of scale, speed and frictionless processing.

Are there other examples of machines that work as slow technologies, either inadvertently or by design?

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