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Workshop on Human Living in Future Cities - Nick Tyler (UCL), "Sensing Time"
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Workshop on Human Living in Future Cities - Nick Tyler (UCL), "Sensing Time"


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  • 1. Sensing time Nick Tyler Universal Composition Laboratory UCL
  • 2. What does one minute feel like to you?
  • 3. How long would you wait? This experiment started in 1927 in the University of Queensland Researchers waited 8-12 years for each drop to fall – now (2014) they have 9 drops
  • 4. For about a decade, time passed very slowly Then, for a minute, time passed extremely quickly
  • 5. Looking back, the decades seemed very fast But those final minutes seem to be very long
  • 6. We think of a timeline … About now
  • 7. … but the timeline is just part of a larger cycle … About now
  • 8. Long term Short term cycle Past Future Present … and the cycle is just part of another cycle …
  • 9. Does time pass more quickly in the past or in the future?
  • 10. … past events happened more recently and more slowly than they did … future events will happen sooner and more slowly than they will Typically, people think that …
  • 11. … but some people think the reverse … … and events in the future seem further away in time and faster than they will be
  • 12. The rhythm of events changes over time Events happening about now are closer together than events in the past or the future
  • 13. Long term Short term cycle Past Future Present … so our time-helix …
  • 14. Past Future Present … becomes an hourglass
  • 15. But time is an illusion How do we perceive it? What is its importance?
  • 16. Past Future Present Perception of time for 1 cycle (elapsed time is constant) Perception Current time is perceived to be shorter than distant time
  • 17. Past Future Present Importance of time for 1 cycle (elapsed time is constant) Importance Current time is more important than distant time
  • 18. We are doing something exciting and important We are going to do something else exciting and important In between, we have to wait for a bus
  • 19. “... waiting now is a chore …” “the bus is not going to come any time soon” … so … “… waiting is a waste of my time …”
  • 20. “… so using the bus is a real waste of my time …”
  • 21. I feel that my waiting time is much longer than it really is Overestimated time Elapsed time
  • 22. Real-time bus arrival information hopes to reduce this overestimate to equal the actual passage of time
  • 23. The effect of real-time bus information Overestimated time Elapsed time
  • 24. However, people routinely underestimate the time they have spent doing something they enjoy “time just flew by while I was …”
  • 25. Time flies when you are enjoying yourself Elapsed time Understimated time
  • 26. We need to change the perception of time spent waiting … … to be something that we can enjoy …
  • 27. … so we design the bus stop … … to be fun, useful, pleasant, enjoyable to use
  • 28. This is Universal Composition … Multisensorial design in space and time
  • 29. The bus stop becomes something you look forward to using … … and you look back on as being a good experience
  • 30. … and want to do again
  • 31. How do you sense time? What will five minutes in the future feel like to you?
  • 32. Nick Tyler & Sara Adhitya Universal Composition Laboratory University College London