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Modern times have been dominated by speed and acceleration. The implications have been enormous and diverse. The explosive problem of the environment, too, is largely a product of the amazing acceleration of time (and consequently also of the processes of production and consumption) that has taken place in recent history. This same acceleration of time is at the root of the cultural crisis our society is going through, as well as the cause of our increasingly super!cial and banal relationship with objects.

But from crises we can look to opportunities. We must therefore reconsider the value of time. We must go beyond the myth of velocity. The entire complex machine of production and consumption must be slowed down. We have to take time to enter into a relationship with people and things: time to do things carefully, considering the implications of our choices; time to think, to contemplate, to savor; time to give meaning to our lives and what we are doing. In opposition to this impoverished and wasteful type of relationship with objects, let us propose a shift in objectives. We could suggest that we begin to work to achieve not, as before, a minimum of effort, but a maximum of quality. A quality of relationship that requires attention and care.

Stefano Marzano, Chief Design Officer Royal Philips Electronics

This article was first published in 1992 as Flying over Las Vegas