4 .

Audiocase

THE TIME

AND THE POTATO

Pedro Piovan

12  from December  2020

Image by Heather Zabriskie

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O Tempo e a BatataPedro Piovan
00:00 / 10:09

[TIM MAIA]

"We're there, man. There are people who die at the age of 90 and are really young, there are some who die at 25, 37, but they're not really young. What's old, man, isn't in the comic book. human is born wonderful and it becomes boring, it becomes wonderful again, it becomes boring, it becomes wonderful again and then it becomes boring..."

[PEDRO PIOVAN]

I tend to think we're kind of straight. I tend to think that we, urban people, who live in urban centers, or even who live in the digital scene (which is still an expression of this urbanity); we are very used to this "day-to-day rush", right. That expression that looks like a ghost that keeps chasing us in the corridors of our lives.

And we are always very concerned about doing, delivering, going to the next task and ends up having only a reference to what time is.  Which is that chronological time of the clock, which  it is measured based on seconds, minutes, hours and days.

Today I want to explore with you another way of looking at time.

[VIGNETTE]

[PEDRO PIOVAN]

I imagine that you have already seen here, throughout the edition of the Passeio, that we have been trying to work with other references of the time, including to have a model of life that is a little broader and more diverse... And we can live in several times at the same time.

Today I want to explore with you a little different time, which is potato time.

Come on, I'll explain: to tell you the truth I'm not a great potato connoisseur or specialist. But, to be honest, I don't even need to be to talk about this prism that I'm trying to bring to us.

The story is as follows: a few months ago, I needed to cool my head a bit from very technical readings, I tend to be a person who likes to read about very practical, objective and tangible things, so I asked my partner to recommend a book that was fiction and she recommended me this book, which is called "A New Chance for Mr. Doubler" .

This is a very interesting book. Because it recounts the journey of a gentleman (Mr. Doubler) - I promise I won't give too many spoilers - who plants potatoes. That's what he does. He has a farm and grows potatoes.

He does it all day, his whole life, the same routine. But Mr. Doubler has an interesting thing: he doesn't work to sell a lot of potatoes. He works to come up with a unique species of this tuber. He works so that he leaves a potato to the world that really matters, that really makes sense. Mr. Doubler works to leave a legacy, much more than producing a huge scale of potatoes, for people to consume the potatoes he produces, on his farm

And that's what I find interesting about Mr. Doubler and it's something that we can explore together here. Like innovation, we don't want to create something so that it runs out while we're alive. We innovate so that we want to leave something of extreme value for people to build on. And not so that people already consume all that and that lose their life. We tend to innovate because we want that to be nourished with life and possibilities for existence.

We want to innovate so that someone can take what we created and apply it in other contexts, in different ways, and look for other ways - that we didn't even think about - of directing that. I tend to understand that innovation is a way for us to express what we want to the world, or to our community. But not in the sense that we exhaust the functions and possibilities that what we are creating has.  If not, it would be a very entropic innovation, do you agree with me?  It would be an innovation that runs out of itself.

What we want with innovation is that, from the moment we create this, for us to give birth to what we are thinking, for this to gain more and more life. That people can take it, appropriate it (in a positive sense) and grow on top of it.

 

After all, imagine if the potato that Mr. Doubler creates, allows other people to enjoy it, take its formula and improve it, increment it.

I tend to understand that Mr. Doubler's mission - much more than climbing a potato, but leaving a legacy - is very close to the mission that we, as a designer, have. Which is to facilitate the daily lives of people around us, with something that can generate more life, more possibilities for existence. And of course: this calls for another time model, which is not the time model we use chronologically.

This requires sowing, planting, that we take care of our potatoes.

There is that thesis that says "nothing is created, everything is copied". I never bought a lot. I tend to go the other way: everything is created from what has already been created (and not necessarily by copying). When we look at it this way, we understand that we create from the legacy of others, from those who came before.

I think Mr. Doubler does a very interesting thing.  With the legacy of the previous ones, he seeks to leave a legacy for the next ones to come. So, I come here to suggest something very simple: Why can't we interrupt a little bit of this exhaustion cycle and if  allow to live in a different time? A time that provides legacy and not fatigue.

A time that allows what we create to serve for someone to use this legacy. And we don't necessarily close a circle and say "This is ours and we're going to climb it, explore as much as it can give us". I think that if we go to a path of another time, which leads us to produce a legacy, we can have a different world and we can have a model of life much closer to what we want to live, than necessarily having a world that we want to exhaust the possibilities of what we create.

It's a much more enabling, dynamic world, different from the possibilities that creation can take and become something bigger than the creator. I wanted to bring this reflection that I had reading this book, which I highly recommend for you to read. It's very worth it.

That's it, folks! I hope I have encouraged you to plant your tubers in your home and if not, I hope I have at least helped you to think about your legacy and how we take advantage of the innovations you create. I hope to see you soon, a hug.

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