On 13 November 2008, Distance Lab hosted an event on the theme of "Slow Technology", an extension of notions from the "slow food" movement into the design of new technologies. Instead of speed and efficiency, slow technology emphasises the quality, locality, and humanity of the total experience.
The special guest speaker for this event was Glorianna Davenport, head of the Media Fabrics (formerly Interactive Cinema) group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. Trained as a documentary filmmaker, Glorianna has achieved international recognition for her work in new media forms. Her research explores fundamental issues related to the collaborative co-construction of digital media experiences, where the task of narration is split among authors, consumers, and computer mediators.
In her talk entitled "Slow Stories", Glorianna framed her work within the "slow" theme. Time is central to our experience of life and to the concept of story; time is required to experience ones own story, to author story, and to experience the stories of others. Today the agility of computer networks and their associated technologies allow a new class of story: slow stories. For instance, a story of a character - be it a glacier, a day in the life of a salt marsh, or a human being maturing through a complex web of circumstance - can be developed for slow release, in a time coordinated with story development.