While Greek mythology used to depict time as the wise old man with a grey beard known as Chronos, the contemporary personification of him seems to be a younger scatter-brained individual who is rather nervous and constantly rushing about. Time and different ways of perceiving it are still an important topic: people are overwhelmed by the apparent overabundance of information, the lack of time and extremely fast-paced life. Both slowness (falling behind) and speed (extreme superficiality) have acquired equally negative connotations. At the same time, the sense of time is subjective.
The different tempos of time passing are also perceivable through the material world: efficiency and using the least amount of time are important in industry, to counterbalance this an opposing “slow movement” has evolved and encompasses different areas like fashion, raising children, urban studies, gardening, media and design. For example, the movement “slow goods”, which is more directly tied to applied art and design, values handicrafts instead of mass-produced products, and instead of anonymous factories that are located far away, it prefers the communal and local ways of producing, using high-quality sustainable materials. Valuing time differently in the production process speaks to different value systems.
In parallel to dedicated creative work and valuing materials (the comeback of material), a contrary process takes place – the dematerialisation due to digital technologies speeding up the exchange of information and work processes, among other areas, also in the fields of applied art and design.