What time is it? Why should you care? GMD Course Leader Helga Schmid’s new book Uchronia: Designing Time questions our current system of clocks and calendars, which along with digital technologies work against natural time-givers, adversely affecting our mental and physical health.
‘Uchronia’ means temporal utopia, and in the book Helga details how our current ‘time crisis’ has developed, and what we can do about it. She has explored this through practice, and details through diagrams and full-colour photos throughout the book the experiments, spaces and events she has designed, with the help of chronobiologists and sociologists as well as a range of collaborators across art and design. As a professional graphic designer, Helga designed the book herself, and it is beautifully produced by the publisher Birkhäuser in bright blue cloth hardcover.
In her foreword, Museum of Modern Art curator Paola Antonelli contextualises Helga’s work alongside that of other artists, within a broader politics of time. ‘With disarming clarity and synthesis,’ she writes, ‘and with the support of a deep analysis of existing theories, Helga Schmid has pursued the concept of uchronia (a time that does not exist within our extant parameters, an ideal time we should strive for).’