Calendars play a fundamental role in establishing our everyday rhythms, shaping our consciousness of temporality. But these tools are not neutral. Digital calendars frame time expressions through ‘smart’ scheduling, organizing, planning, quick syncing, to-do lists and progress tracking. In doing so, they continue promoting dominant temporal narratives of acceleration and time saving, while cementing the logic of productivity. In this way, they codify values and behaviour while obscuring the politics of time embedded in their representation. After all, how we represent time affects how we conceptualize time.
Calendar Collective is a design-led research investigation that challenges the normative understanding of time as linear, objective and neutral. In this investigation, I use calendar as a subversive tool to dismantle current hegemonic time structures and rebuild plural futures. As a designer from a previously colonized country, I use calendar as a decolonization tool to render time - one of the most invisible epistemologies in futures work - visible.
Using a combination of participatory design workshops, counterfactual history techniques, and personal cultural experiences, I unfold a fictitious archive of alternate calendars (real and imagined) traced through voicemails. The voicemails are a reminder that complex socio-cultural systems based on alternate temporal thought have always existed and still do. With the world in lockdown, time is bent completely out of shape. This is a gentle reminder that exploring and adopting alternate calendars is no longer a far fetched thought. The pandemic has made our time models partially permeable. As we brace ourselves for the new reality, I offer this collective to consciously traverse in ways previously unimagined or unimaginable.