Project Interzone

Interzone is a speculative inquiry into an overpopulated future. Can multiple timezones exist within one city? How might that transform our social landscape? What does it mean to layer time?


The situation

Peak commuting hours in cities cause traffic jams, accidents and stress. Regardless of efforts such as car-sharing or increased public transit, the routine of daily life dictates that people travel at similar times during the course of a day. With overpopulation looming as a global concern, this project offers a possible scenario for the future. Instead of employing traditional means of traffic mitigation, Interzone inverts the way we think about scheduling.

The premise

Imagine a city's standard time, then dividing that into three timezones: one two hours ahead, one stays the same, and the other two hours behind. Despite our staggered schedule, the city would continue it's normal schedule. It's only how you set your clock that would make a difference.

Clues for possibility:

  1. We already have timezones, and manage them smoothly
  2. We can adapt our sleeping patterns, for example, living in darkness in Alaska
  3. We are already beginning to adopt more flexible work schedules
  4. We have digital tools that help us with time differences, such as Google Calendar

Congestion happens at specific hours because of our shared patterns of movement. For example, commuting around 8 AM and returning home around 5 PM. In the simplest sense, if we could break that flow of movement into three staggered intervenes, our hypothesis is that we could potentially avoid congestion.

What changes?

Through this premise, we are exploring the ways in which our social landscape would transform. What new city agencies, occupations, roles, services might exist? How do you incentivize people to opt-in to the new system? What do penalties look like? How do you balance control and flexibility while proposing a change at an infrastructure level?

Interzone is a research project in progress. Learn more on our website and say hello at or @PRJ_interzone #whattimeisit.

Ford Motor Company
Stockholm School of Economics

Andrea Burgueño
Ricardo Dutra

DMY Berlin Design Week 2016
New Talent Winner

Exhibition at Milan Design Week 2016
The Alternative—solutions for the social domain, hosted by Connecting the Dots

Flux.FM interview
NextCity article
City Lab article

Conceptual strategist
Interaction designer
Graphic designer