clock designs

Brilliantly simple in theory but complex in execution, this clock by Humans Since 1982 is perhaps the ultimate dynamic design hybrid of the analog and digital ages – it tells digital-formatted time using a series of independently-rotating traditional analog clock dials.

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Between two times, the clock faces execute complex patterns that are themselves visually engaging and the new time slowly emerges as the clock hands slowly shift into their new positions.

While still a prototype making its rounds at art exhibitions and digital design fairs, there would seem to certainly be a market for this novelty which blends the legibility and functionality of modern digital clocks with the traditional visual interest caused by movement within classic clock designs – a kind of grandfather clock with two-dozen hands as contemporary counterparts of classic gear systems. Though, of course, it functions as an art installation, too, interesting to watch and look at in its own right.

digital and analog clock in one

The Clock Clock White recontextualizes time in a mix of old and new, analogue and digital. This kinetic piece is made of 24 two-handed analogue clocks. Six clocks make up a number, each of them displaying either one of its corners or one of its sides. All 24 clocks create one giant display similar to that of a digital watch.”

“This work is notable for its digital/analogue format and the choreography that takes place between the minutes. Humans since 1982 cooperated with Australian engineer David Cox, now studio co-owner, to accomplish the complex technology.”

Then there’s this clock project, called “A Million Times:”

“Through this series Humans since 1982 manipulate clock faces, a universally recognised symbol of time, by programming the hour and minute hands to spin individually and in formation to visually represent the abstract concept of time while continuing to report real time.”

“From one moment to the next the analogue hands move in a continuous ebb and flow to fleetingly resemble the crest of a wave, a swirling vortex or synchronised dancers. Each choreographed sweep of hands appears to be unlike the last until they join in perfect, synchronised alignment to accurately tell time through digital typography. Marrying conceptual enquiry with technically challenging design and engineering processes, A million Times is not so much about time-telling as it is about designing the passing of time.”