Project History

Deep Time Walk is a 4.6km walk through 4.6bn years and was created in 2007 by Dr. Stephan Harding in co-ordination with geologist Sergio Maraschin whilst at Schumacher College, Devon. It builds upon the perennial idea of telling stories across time and space – something put to great use by people such as Maria Montessori, Joanna Macy and Sr. Miriam Therese MacGillis – all of which inspired and influenced the Deep Time Walk.

The Deep Time Walk app emerged from the amalgamation of two projects: the Walk Through Time (created in California in 1997) and the Deep Time Walk.

The Walk Through Time is a physical display of 95 illustrative panels accurately placed along a one mile walk, where each foot represents one million years of evolution. This was first envisaged by Professor Sidney Liebes from Hewlett Packard Laboratories. The display has now travelled around the world to international conferences, major museums and universities, and private events. There are three sets, two in the US and one in Europe.

In 2012, thanks to the networking of David McConville (Board Chair of the Buckminster Fuller Institute) two people became connected. He introduced the artistic talents of Fred Adam, an expert in the use of smartphones for walking across time and space, with Geoff Ainscow, leader of the Walk Through Time Project. This partnership gave birth to the first Walk Through Time iPhone app, which had a short test flight before feedback from beta testing demanded a re-design.

A year later, a group at Schumacher College were investigating the creation of an app for the Deep Time Walk. Robert Woodford, one of those on the project, reviewed the Walk Through Time app and thought there is no point reinventing the wheel. Shortly after, Geoff received an email from Stephan Harding asking “could we collaborate?” And, as is said, “the rest is history.”

The Deep Time Walk app was the initial product from the Deep Time Walk project, and has subsequently spawned other products such as the Deep Time Cards, Deep Time Line, Deep Time Script and Deep Time Audiobook. We are currently working on other concepts to help tell the story of Earth and bring the experience to new audiences worldwide.