The idea for the project was born in an Interaction Design course at the University of Arts in Bremen, Germany. The course, taught by Prof. Tanja Diezmann, was called Back on focus – Less is more and dealt with topics concerning the increasingly hectic, overstimulated and restless environment we are living in.

For me the approach using the technology that causes the overstimulation, to achieve the opposite, a focussing on the essentials, was the most interesting part in the first phase of the project. I didn’t want to develop an interactive concept or service to make an users live easier, or less complicated but to offer an experimental approach to think about this relevant subject of our globalized world.

I am for sure not the first one with the idea how it would be to slow down time or at least the perception of it, but I just found people thinking about it and nobody who simply tried it to see what actually would happen. So I started this as an naive experiment with an open outcome. In the beginning I was hoping the result would eventually be really relaxing or somehow useful.





At the beginning I tethered up a laptop and a camera on a bicycle helmet and walked around with it, just in contact with the surrounding through the technological filtered perception. During this first experiments I explored a strange feeling: The knowledge about the discrepancy of your actual environment and what you percept from it. This quality is hard to describe in a text or video and can best be experienced when wearing the actual Decelerator Helmet, slowing down your environment. While wearing it and moving around, you start waiting for the pictures to catch up, to follow you to the place you know you should be, which will never happen. You are drawn in a spiral of delay, waiting and disorientation that shows you the physical limitations of the concept.

After the course I started researching in theories of perception, the role of the upcoming technologies of slow motion and time lapse in the history of cinema and its impact in media theory from McLuhan over Bourdieu to Benjamin.
I started understanding the meaning of my approach not only to concerning the slowing down of perception, but in general perception filtered through technology, decoupling you from reality. Thereby was born the idea of the physical appearance of the Decelerator Helmet, as a reflection-bubble in which the relations between sensory perception, environment and corporeality are disputed.

Finally I experimented with different ways of accelerating the time again, to cope with the delay and come back to real time, to reset. Therefore I developed a small remote control with different ways to influence the flow of time. Also I added a external monitor, mirroring the users perception to the outside. It engaged people to interact with the user, getting a glimpse of its function and start making their own thoughts.

After the first rough prototype I made a second more advanced version with a new netbook. For the inside I developed a construction of laser cutted acryl to fix the computer, the helmet and the camera in the inside of the metall sphere and the display on the outside.