Stefan Agamanolis is the CEO and a Research Director of Scotland-based Distance Lab. The people behind this creative research institute try to overcome distance by using new technologies. Agamanolis addressed a new trend, slow communication.
The way we communicate right now finds a good metaphor in fast food. We want to talk anywhere anytime and the quality doesn’t really matter. Distance Lab represents a new movement that wants slow communication. Agamanolis showed a few examples from his past work at the research institute to 100 crossmedia talents that gathered at the Picnic Conference.
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The good old telephone booth offered a way to make call in a semi-private environment. But it’s disappearing quickly. However, Agamanolis believes we do need a space to get into to have a quality conversation. Therefore he developed the Isophone, a device that makes it possible to call underwater. Callers have no sense of vision, no sensitive touch because the water has the same temperature. All callers experience is the voice of the other person: complete isolation.
People lost track of time, they called for 5 minutes and thought they were chatting for 30 minutes. The nature of conversations was more creative, callers visited a lot of topics. They also gestured more, even with their legs.
Agamanolis: “What we’re trying to do here is to show that the form of communication can influence the outcome of the conversation. Like creating a form that makes people fall in love.
That’s a nice bridge to the next subject. Agamanolis: “How can we bring back intimacy in communication technologies?” One way of doing it is creating a tool with which you can make drawings on a surface at the other side of the world.
This ring can be tailored to reflect the character of the relationship.
Most technology looks new, modern, plasticly, sporty, and male focused. Elena Corchero designed a tool that proves technology doesn’t have to so hard-edged. She created an ambient light display that’s made of vintage materials.
Fast food bad for your health, slow food isn’t. Same goes for slow communication. Agamanolis wants to use sports for communication, as it keeps you healthy and it’s also a great way to get to know people and build trust. Why not take advantage of these sports advantages? Like boxing over a distance.
Although I do not believe in a world where slow communication is the norm, I do think that it’s a desirable trend. Let’s reserve a few moments a day for quality communication, it will definitely lead to stronger and more intense relationships.