Time-lapse thinking


One of my favorite perception games is “time lapse thinking”. Just as the name implies, it is a type of thinking that allows you to imagine change in “different speeds”.

When you use this type of thinking you can look at a mountain range not as a static object but as a “wave” that moves, like a liquid over the span of millions of years*.

There are many opportunities for innovation with this type of thinking. Just one practical example:

– Architects can use time lapse thinking to consider the shape and materials for a building. They can consider the way in which windows are designed for optimal lighting and the optimization of heating and cooling systems, across the different seasons.

There are markets, products, and services waiting to be discovered by using this type of thinking.


* By far the best visualization of time lapse thinking I have seen is within a film called Sea Monsters (an IMAX film). The mountain range “liquid wave” is visualized vividly within this film. “Smoke Water Fire”, a video posted on this blog may also be a good metaphor for this type of change.

Time-lapse thinking is closely related to the concept of the long now.

The Long Now on Wikipedia >>

– Another blog posting on here: Types of thinking >>

Daniel Montano
Keyword: Dan Montano, user experience design, information architect


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