Networked Urbanism

design thinking initiatives for a better urban life

Design critics: Belinda Tato and Jose Luis Vallejo, principals of Ecosistema Urbano

Aeon is a time-balancing tool for a new era. Holistic, visually inspiring, and privileging flexibility over linearity, Aeon innovatively combines the calendar and to-do list, and helps find time for the important things in life. With a basis in neuroscience, Aeon’s qualitative approach facilitates efficacy and integrates space for restorative moments.

Time. There never seems to be enough of it. Even as technology increases our efficiency, we continue rushing, often leading to imbalance and ineffectiveness in our lives. As we strive for productivity, we often underrate the critical role of rest to our cognitive and creative abilities. Multitasking has become the norm, diminishing our capacity to focus on one task at a time. Perhaps most of all, in the rush to complete everything on our plate, we often put off the important things in life. Combined, these imbalances lead to wasted time in our lives.

Time wasted includes what we do with our time and how we do it. But it also includes how we look at it. Our approach to time as a society is indicative of how we perceive it. Our perception and approach translate not only to our relative effectiveness in how we use time but also to our sense of time, such as a feeling of satisfaction and wholeness, or lack thereof. Aeon is both a reaction and answer to modern civilization’s perception of time and deeply embedded roots in a mechanized approach. It is born out of both the frustration of time wasted as well as the celebration of time itself.

Aeon was created to be a time balancing tool for a new era. A revisualization of time that could help us approach time better. With a vision to create a smarter, flexible, holistic time balancing tool, the project responds to the limitations of current time management instruments, which are linear, rigid, and future-oriented, emphasize quantity over quality, and fail to account for importance or integrate the unscheduled.

Aeon’s design lies at the cusp of a host of scientific and philosophical discourses. Its holistic revisualization conveys a sense of time as whole and present versus linear and constantly passing us by. The tool’s smart, active approach helps find time for the important things in life. It employs complementary functions and design principles: alternating periods of focus and rest; emphasizing the present and reflecting on the past. Working in tandem, these features not only facilitate a more effective approach to time, their juxtapositions also allow a sense of fulfillment in time well spent.

Aeon consists of four functions: Day + Meta (under the larger category of Time), Space, and Focus.

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Day + Meta

Day and Meta are complementary portions of the tool that emphasize a focus on the present and reflection on the past, respectively.

The Day view radically revisualizes time to encompass both scheduled and unscheduled activities in a holistic, 24-hour day view oriented to the present. Scheduled activities appear along the circumference of the day, while unscheduled activities related to our important to-dos appear in the middle and can be flexibly scheduled by dragging to the perimeter. Aeon further assists us in completing these to-dos by recognizing opportunity and identifying potential gaps in our day.

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Meanwhile, Meta is the reflective part of the tool. This function serves to reveal past patterns and activity to increase self awareness and inform better decisions. It can track designated activities, such as important to-dos like “Call Mom” or mundane activities like time spent in transit or on the phone. By illuminating the past, Aeon objectively informs potential in the present and future.

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Space + Focus

Space and Focus are dichotomous functions that emphasize downtime and intense periods of concentration, respectively, to allow for balance and effectiveness.

Research shows that the subconscious network responsible for creativity, learning, and problem solving is strengthened during downtime. The Space function in Aeon elevates downtime to its rightful position as a vital component of our effective functioning. It integrates downtime throughout the day and can facilitate cognitive rest through an audio sensory experience.

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On the flip side, studies show that to perform effectively, our mind needs to focus on one task at a time. Multitasking diminishes the quality of our attention. Aeon supports sustained attention by facilitating a disruption-free environment where email, chat, and calls can be blocked.

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Through these various functions, Aeon supports users in approaching time more effectively and accomplishing what’s important to them, conveying a sense of time as whole. It facilitates a new, balanced approach that transforms time wasted.

Aeon Final Review Video


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