| Author: Isabel Ogden
| Instructor: Thomas Greenall, Rosy Head, Nicola Koller
| Royal College of Art, ADS4,
| There is only before and after, the now is transient, and the flow of time a tenseless illusion.
What really happens while we wait? Does our body, our consciousness register the passage of time in a coherent, unified, responsibly sovereign way? 
Since the Industrial Revolution, our species has endured an unprecedented compression of time and space. In recent decades, this new existential condition has engendered a mode of human subjectivity at odds with the rhythms and flows of nature. Instead of navigating their way through life using cyclical, solar conceptions of time, humans have found solace and efficiency in time’s unwavering, linear arrow.
Waiting Room interrogates the nature of contemporary time in order to generate a scenario in which two competing temporalities (Oldtime and Onetime) produce a third (Sumtime). One half of society remains hopelessly shackled to the sun, living their luddite lives around the predictable cycles of dawn and dusk; the other is in constant pursuit of efficiency, promoting a universal temporal order and single clock, which eliminates all time zones in order to maximise economic gain. Yet, out of this Hegelian nightmare appears Sumtime, a new temporal order which embraces emergent behavioural trends: excessive consumption, the rise of binging and the Slow movement. For Sumtime life is not ordered cyclically or linearly, but instead experienced as chunks or blocks of repetitive action. However, this is no Fordist assembly line. Tasks are binged for themselves, without reason or agenda. They are done to excess, without worrying about efficiency or profit. They are done at any time, without recourse to the sun, the stars, or the arbitrary oscillations of a caesium atom.
Within this tripartite temporal world, time itself is subject to constant redefinition: a complex, pliable construct, used in different ways at different moments in one’s life. Each of the three temporal approaches operate simultaneously, yet are at odds with one another. Oldtime seeks to preserve; Onetime seeks to eliminate; Sumtime seeks to reconstitute. Although these competing temporal systems imbue and animate every facet of life, there is just one act —the act of ‘waiting’— that proffers a prism through which the nuances of each temporal approach make themselves manifest. Waiting isolates time — it is a unique experience, where time itself is foregrounded; and the waiting room names a space “filled with time, pure time, refined, distilled, denatured time without qualities, without even dust”. 
Sumtime offers an approach which meets waiting on its own terms. Whereas Oldtime and Onetime understand waiting as a liminal, passive behaviour, which binds together moments of activity, Sumtime promotes waiting to an activity in its own right — to be experienced and engaged with in a focused and methodical way. An organisation, known as FILE (not LIFE) is established whose task is simple: to erect a series of spaces around the globe which sate our appetite for Sumtime temporality. FILE therefore allows for the emergence of a new human subject —an individual who can choose the progression of his/her own subjective time, and who wantonly disregards the outdated tools that have heretofore defined temporal experience.
FILE’s waiting rooms utilise a unique proportional system where space is arranged as a measured expression of time to dictate architectural form. At any moment in a one of its buildings, one can visually discern where on the globe one is, and for how long one is expected to reside in each room or space.
To choose to wait gives us back a sense of agency; it negates our current helplessness or inability to control the pace of time. Waiting promotes a process of becoming; interacting with an environment on standstill has the potential to reveal new realities. Consequently, FILE constructs an architecture of waiting that monumentalises its significance and embraces its latent, overlooked, or lost function within the city.
 J.M.E Mctaggart’s B Theory.
 Raqs Media Collective
 ‘Waiting Rooms’ Howard Nemerov