We favor the moments that are fleeting. The sunset, the sunrise, even simple things like knowing we have only one onion to cook with, each slice becoming precious. We waste nothing when we can see how little is left. And it's sad and frustrating that we need that visual reminder to appreciate what we have. Otherwise we discard it, knowing there is another at hand. This is natural but disastrous when multiplied.
Knowing that it is the last versus something last longing, changes our perspectives and our appreciation. The sublime, as Kant describes it, is the fearful quality in the incomprehensible. It's a moment, the way it captures us in unknowingness, out of time. A moment when we cannot look away, or comprehend what is and what was.
I want to prescribe this to design, to art. It is not a collectible. I don't want to create an immortal thing to be locked away for value, I'm far more interested in the moment when someone feels the sublime, even if it happens only once and then decays.
But I struggle with knowing if this should be designed? Do we need a tool to appreciate temporality? Or is it design affecting culture in such a way that encourages us appreciate the infinite? Would this drive us insane? To constantly obsess over every passing second?
Where is the line between helpful and frustrating? Is it still sublime if it's forced?