Speak More Slowly!
Developing Better Community Awareness Through Localized Reflective Media Systems
Aisling Kelliher, IDSA | Arizona State University
Silvan Linn, IDSA
Recent advances in networking and communication technology have enmeshed us in a richly
mediated and informative world, transforming the nature of our everyday interactions into a
physical-digital hybrid experience. At the heart of this development is the lightning-fast
transmission, reception and transformation of digital information. While previous generations
encountered a ‘cult of speed’ owing to such diverse developments as the proliferation of the
pocket watch, the emergence of the automobile and the introduction of efficient factory floor
time management, today our experience of continuous, rapid connectivity and communication
is all-encompassing and prevalent (Kern, 2003). In this age of great rapidity, McLuhan's "global
village" (McLuhan & Lapham, 1994) has become more of a "global living room,” with
information of all forms dispersed to and retrieved in our homes on a constant basis. Our
televisions, personal computers and smart phones clamor for our attention, beckoning us with
the opportunity for connection and interaction. While the rapidity of our communications may
have enhanced our efficiency, it has also introduced a dense complexity to our everyday lives.
As experts on human-machine interaction with the power to shape this increasingly important
aspect of people's lives, designers have a unique opportunity and duty to analyze, understand
and support the factors contributing to informational complexity.