October 29: Designing Temporality II: Productivity + Speed

We’ll start off with your groups’ fieldwork presentations. We’ll then think about the “designing of time,” in various cultural contexts, through product design, industrial design, service design, architecture, urbanism, fashion, etc.; the ideologies and cultural values embodied in those temporal objects and systems; how temporality plays out in design’s supply chains and fabrication and consumption and user experience; and how ethnographic methods might enhance designers’ temporal sensibilities.

We won’t have time (ha!) to discuss all the readings this week (or those from last week, about waiting), but they’ve ideally informed your fieldwork and will likewise inform our discussion of your presentations!


  • Architecture in Time: The Temporal Conditions of Architecture,” Birkbeck, University of London, 2010.
  • Kevin Birth, “Clocks, Politics, and Changing Times,” The Frick Collection (October 16, 2013) <video>.
  • Kevin K. Birth, Objects of Time: How Things Shape Temporality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
  • Georgina Born, “Making Time: Temporality, History, and the Cultural Object,” New Literary History 46:3 (2015): 361-86.
  • ** Rebecca Bryant and Daniel M. Knight, The Anthropology of the Future (Cambridge University Press, 2019).
  • Anne Line Dalsgård, Martin Fredericksen, Susanne Højlund, and Lotte Meinert, eds., Ethnographies of Youth and Temporality: Time Objectified (Temple University Press, 2014).
  • Design and Temporality” Correspondences, Fieldsights (Society for Cultural Anthropology: June 2, 2016).
  • Vincent Duclos, Tomás Sánchez Criado, and Vinh-Kim Nguyen, eds., “Speed” Special Issue, Cultural Anthropology 32:1 (2017).
  • Alfred Gell, The Anthropology of Time: Cultural Constructions of Temporal Maps and Images (Berg, 1992).
  • Tim Ingold, “The Temporality of the Landscape,” World Archaeology 25:2 (1993): 152-74.
  • Alexander R. Jones, Time and Cosmos in Greco-Roman Antiquity (Princeton University Press, 2016).
  • Andreas Muxel’s work.
  • Christina Moon, “The LA Rag Trade,” Vestoj (2017).
  • John Postill, “The Multidimensionality of Protest: Understanding New Social Movements Through Their Events, Trends, and Routines,” in Othon Alexandrakis, Impulse to Act: A New Anthropology of Resistance and Social Justice (Indiana University Press, 2016): 183-91.
  • Repertoires of Timekeeping in Anthropology,” Special Issue of Current Anthropology 43: S4 (2002).
  • Maria Rogal and Cassie McDaniel, “Designing Time,” AIGA (April 25, 2006).
  • Sarah Sharma, In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics (Duke University Press, 2014).
  • Filipa Matos Wunderlick, “Place-Temporality and Urban Place-Rhythms in Urban Analysis and Design: An Aesthetic Akin to Music,” Journal of Urban Design 18:3 (2013).

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