Catalog of Paper and Unwanted Objects
On Slow(ness) and Survivalism





By Lauren Safier, Trent Buillon, Lafina Eptaminitaki, and Ilana Curtis

How do we experience that which is inevitably slow? What is our relationship to the necessary passage of time? We live in a culture of efficiency, where growth and production actively depend on the saving of time. Saving time is not the act of self-preservation that it may seem. It has been co-opted and stripped of its initial connotation, now denoting rushing, skimming, consuming, and drowning—at what cost?

In consequence, our culture of efficiency has created a culture of exhaustion, rewarding depletion until an inevitable moment of collapse. The economy of time requires intervention, a prompt for slowing down, taking time to look, and interpret—creating a parenthesis. In this prompted parenthesis, instead of rejecting the idea of “saving time,” our project re-evaluates its meaning. We attempt to “save time” by treasuring how we spend it, in slow(ness).

At any given moment, the pulse of Graduate School of Design is palpable. As students, we don’t often take time to look around us. While we know with certainty how we participate in the culture of creation at GSD, we don’t always recognize our role as unconscious observers. Every day we witness the inimitable site of fabrication, curiosity, exhaustion, production, and knowledge that makes up the GSD.

It’s easy to observe people, draw conclusions, and make claims about culture and production based on their actions and expressions. It's also easy then to look at their output and analyze what they have created with so much care and intention. What's more challenging, however, is to look at what they don’t want or mean to show us—what gets discarded along the way.