1. As computers are increasingly woven into the fabric of everyday life, interaction design may have to change – from creating only
fast and efﬁcient tools to be used during a limited time in speciﬁc situations, to creating technology that surrounds us and therefore is a part
of our activities for long periods of time. We present slow technology: a design agenda for technology aimed at reﬂection and moments of
mental rest rather than efﬁciency in performance. The aim of this paper is to develop a design philosophy for slow technology, to discuss
general design principles and to revisit some basic issues in interaction design from a more philosophical point of view. We discuss
examples of soniture and informative art as instances of slow technology and as examples of how the design principles can be applied in
2. When computers become increasingly ubiquitous, some of them will turn from being tools explicitly used in speciﬁc situations to being more or less continuously present as a part of a designed environment. One of the aspects of this transition is that the time perspective changes from simply encompassing the moment of explicit use to the longer periods of time associated with dwelling.
3. Calm technology and ambient displays are designed to reside in the periphery of our
attention, continuously providing us with contextual information without demanding a conscious effort on our behalf. However, we believe that we do not only need to create calm technology, we also need actively to promote moments of reﬂection and mental rest in a more and more rapidly changing .
4. The difference in aesthetics between the two doorbells is a difference in philosophy of design; the ‘‘slow’’ doorbell is not designed to be ‘‘just’’ an efﬁcient signalling mechanism for nonreﬂective use, but rather an artefact that through its expression and slow appearance puts reﬂective ‘‘use’’ in focus.
5. ...– gourmet cuisine (美食烹飪) is slow food, in terms of both preparation and eating, which invites us to reﬂect on the art of cooking as well as the art of eating.
6. 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.
7. Slow technology can be technology where the aesthetics of functionality, i.e. the expression of functionality as such rather than its objectives, are in focus. It is design concerned with how we relate to the expression of technology itself as we use it to do certain things.
8. However, slow technology differs in that it is not supposed to reduce cognitive load or make digital information and computational resources more readily available. Slow technology is not about making technology invisible, but about exposing technology in a way that encourages people to reﬂect and think about it.
...technology is not just solutions
to speciﬁc technical problems, but also provides
things with speciﬁc expressions situated in our
9. ... we have distinguished three such aspects – reﬂective technology, time technology and ampliﬁed environments – each making up a speciﬁc design theme
in the programme.
10. This theme concerns the design of technology
that both invites reﬂection and at the same time
is reﬂective in its expression. The basic challenge
is to design technology that in its elementary
expression opens up for reﬂection and asks
questions about its being as a piece of technology.
11. Here, the call for slow technology is to use
slow design expression as an instrument to make
room for and invite reﬂection; to use a slow
presence of elementary technology as a tool for
making reﬂection inherent in design expression.
12. This theme concerns the design of technology
that through its expression ampliﬁes the presence
– not the absence – of time.
13. If you
master the art of playing the violin, a good violin
is a piece of technology that through its
expression in use, for example in playing a
partita by Bach, certainly ampliﬁes the presence
of time. In these themes, the call for slow
technology is to design technology that in true
use reveals a slow expression of present time.
14. The call for slow technology is
to use slow design expression to amplify given
environments in time.
15. At ﬁrst, the
appearance of the ChatterBox will seem as a
rather ordinary random text-generator but, over
time, one will be able to recognise parts of
sentences, words and sentence structures. Over
time, one will slowly form an understanding of
the underlying material and ﬁnally even an
understanding of the rules according to which
the sentences are generated.
16. A basic principle of slow technology is to amplify the presence of things to make them into something more than just a silent tool for fast access to something else.
17. It is the expression of the Matisse painting itself – or probably a reproduction – hanging on the wall that is important. The function of a thing designed to invite and make room for reﬂection is inherent in the precise meaning of reﬂecting that is given by the total expression of the given thing; function is inherent in design expression.
18. One of the implications of designing for ‘‘presence’’ instead of ‘‘use’’ is that evaluations will have to change as well.
19. In the case of ‘‘tools’’ it can be
argued that the basic of a tool is understanding
how it is used – a tool is always something that is
used for something.
One cannot explain what a
symphony by Beethoven is, as a piece of art, by
empirical studies of a collection of concert
20. One of the basic ideas behind the examples of slow technology is to use simplicity in material in combination with complexity of form.
21. Simplicity in material invites people to reﬂect when there is an obvious complexity in form.
we propose two basic guidelines for slow technology:
. focus on slowness of appearance (materialisation, manifestation) and presence – the slow materialisation and design presence of form (F)
. focus on aesthetics of material and use simple basic tools of modern technology – the clear and simple design presence of matetial (M).
23. The design should give time for reﬂection
through its slow form-presence and invite us to
reﬂect through its clear, distinct and simple
material-expression. It is a combination of
simplicity in material with a subtle complexity
in form focusing on time as a basic element of
composition. Technology should bring forth the
material, not hide it.
24. This is interaction design in the
sense that we design structures within which we
express presence and build our ‘‘work-worlds’’
and ‘‘life-worlds’’ through interaction with the
25. We believe that the transition from, or rather
complement to, the perspective on technology as
‘‘tool’’ to a perspective on information technology as being a part of a complex designed and
inhabited environment will be important to
future design methodologies .
26. One such possibility is a
technology, such as slow technology, that is
not ‘‘used’’ at all but nevertheless is a part of the
environment, adding to its ambience and
supporting various activities taking place in it.
1. Make a critique on "Photobox (Photobox: on the design of a slow technology) (http://markmakedo.co.uk/portfolio/photobox/) according to "slow technology" philosophy
2. If a design team decides to create an artifact like "little printer" (by Burgcloud) to print photos as follows:
make a critical reflection on this artifact in contrast to Photobox as well as other image practices using frameworks similar to "Slow Technology: Critical Reflection and Future Directions" (p. 817)
(1+2 = totally 250-300 words)