Planning with the Seasons

Maja Kuzmanović & Nik Gaffney

An experiment in de-homogenising working time.

Part of FoAM’s Future Preparedness case study for the Guild of Resilients. In this experiment, we investigated what would happen if FoAM’s annual programme would become more seasonal. Aligning our activities with the changing temperatures and hours of daylight led to more frequent flow-states, reduced tensions and – for those particularly sensitive to the external conditions – an improved sense of wellbeing. Other experiments included tinkering with daily, weekly, and monthly rhythms, that were more difficult to co-ordinate with flexible working times and remote collaborators. But the simplicity and effectiveness of seasonal programming convinced some of us to continue planning with the seasons in our personal and professional spheres for more than a decade.

Winter solstice ⟢ Spring Equinox

  • listening
  • observing
  • reading
  • repairing
  • wandering
  • sketching
  • tinkering
  • researching

Turning inwards, hibernation; contemplation, repose, retreat; dark, cold, contraction.

Grey, silver, evergreen, blue, teal.

Umami, salty, creamy, smooth.

Subdued, smoky, minerally.

Spring equinox ⟢ Summer Solstice

  • fieldwork
  • gardening
  • moving
  • conceiving
  • producing
  • designing
  • prototyping

Turning outwards, quickening, balancing; (re)aligning, cleansing, creating; brightness, freshness, growth.

Green, pink, violet, yellow.

Sour, bitter, juicy.

Fresh, herbal, flowery.

Summer solstice ⟢ Autumn equinox

  • developing
  • testing
  • collecting
  • travelling
  • learning
  • writing
  • teaching
  • workshops
  • events
  • festivals

Fertility, energy, power; seeding, spawning, nurturing; sun, light, expansion.

Red, orange, gold.

Spicy, sweet, pungent.

Fruity, aromatic, dry, dusty.

Autumn equinox ⟢ Winter solstice

  • gathering
  • organising
  • reviewing
  • reflecting
  • documenting
  • fundraising
  • accounting
  • reporting
  • publishing

Harvesting, feasting, preserving; quieting, transition, cooling; ripeness, abundance, decay.

Brown, orange, purple

Sweet, umami, fermented

Musty, musky, spicy.

Traversing Transitions