clOck is a strikingly minimal project from UK based designer ShihWen Wang. The shape of this simple and rather unique timepiece has been stripped down to just a ring, making its visual impact on a wall, subtle and elegant. The look of the clock changes depending on a surface it put against, allowing the user to co-create the design in some way. ShihWen Wang explains: Devoid of numbers, clOck allows the creation of a subjective, personal time. While being hung on the wall, the whole piece seems like dissolving into the background, an integral part of the wall. And because there is no structural support for hands, the time is represented by two dots; the red dot displays hours and the black one indicates minutes.
Cauca is a Korean design brand that collaborates with the most established and emerging designers to create inspiring decorative objects for the living environment. They teamed up with Jay Jiwoong Baek to produce the very minimalist Eclipse wall clock designed around the imagery of a solar eclipse. The hands are invisible and you can only see the circles at their tips, when they overlap several times a day, the appearance of a solar eclipse is generated.
This is Oak, the result of an extracurricular, collaborative student workshop at Lund University School of Industrial Design, Sweden. The goal: to explore archetypes and stereotypes in the world of furniture. The group developed a range of independent pieces, but which are actually impressively coherent. Of course it helps that they’re all made from the same single material, American oak. One of the participaring students, Karl Jönsson, describes how all pieces were stripped down to their origins. From those elements, together with a hint of humor, new pieces have been created, while considering form, usage and interaction with their surroundings. The icing on their cake: Oak was exhibited during the Milan fair 2011.
Created by Norwegian-based SHE Design Studio, the Myk Clock was recently exhibited during the Stockholm Furniture Fair 2011. It features a taut fabric pulled over the face of the clock so that its hands bulge intriguingly through. Søfting and Tøftum, who founded SHE Design Studio say: We love to experiment with materials and see how we can twist and turn them to create something new, aesthetically and functionally. Although just a prototype in testing phase, I love it as it encourages peaceful feelings through its minimalist design.
1px Clock is an iPhone app that shows time, ticking away one pixel per second. Each square is built up of 60 rows of 60 pixels: one for each second. As such, one square represents one hour, and the total of 24 blocks make up 1 day. 1px Clock was developed by Japanese web design firm E-Bird, and is available as a 6×4 version and a 2×12 version. Download the 1px Clock here (free!). No iPhone? It’s also downloable as a screensaver. (Thx, Derek!)
The Colour Clock by London based designer Jack Hughes is a downloadable screen saver that represents the time in rotating color with hexadecimal color values. As the 6 digit clock ticks, the background color changes to the corresponding hexadecimal color. It is simply beautiful! Follow the Colour Clock link to see it in action. You can also see that hexadecimal value by clicking the button below the time.
India-born designer Saikat Biswas really flexed his design muscle to create the Obligatory Designer Clock. It doesn’t have any hour and minute hands; instead, the hour markings dynamically change to show the time. From 03:00 – 03:59, the 3rd marking slowly fills up by the minute. At 04:00, the 4th marking appears and fills up. To see it in action, check out the time-lapse video on the left. Too bad it’s only a concept…
Clocks are a popular object to minimise, but the Front & Back clock still caught my eye – it combines uses the needed AA batteries as clock hands. Of course, this is just a fun little thing, but it shows an important tactic in the minimising of objects: through the merge of multiple elements into one. The Front & Back clock is designed by Korean designers Giha Woo and Shin Go Eun, who work under the name of The Wrong Objects.
You don’t need hands to tell the time, so say Aspiral. Echoing the fascinations that previous and ancient civilisations had with gauging the time of day, Will Aspinall and Neil Lambeth created this, the Aspiral Clock. Measuring a half day, the clock itself rotates while the ball starts on the outside and gradually runs along the spiral until it reaches the centre and drops down the hole, back to the start—a cycle that takes exactly twelve hours. Each Aspiral Clock is made individually and comes in a number of different flavours, which includes custom designs. If accuracy is a must, the Grey Timemaster version has 5 minute markings to make sure you don’t miss the train.
A great alternative to numerical clocks is this worded clock by Biegert & Funk. Called QlockTwo, this clock tells the time using words highlighted by LEDs. It is available in numerous colours and languages. I like how the smooth design and structured typographic grid compliment the illuminated words and make it stand out. You can purchase the QlockTwo in various colours and languages via Biegert & Funk’s online store. And there’s also an iPhone application available!
Clocks and watches are popular subjects for minimalist designers. This Target Clock is the attempt of British designer Simon Lumb. Rather than with the traditional hands, Lumb’s clock tells time through the edges of two coloured discs. To see it in action, check the video (and then come back and explain it to me ;-)
This LED clock comes from MILE project, a Japanese designer threesome consisting of Bandai Matsuo, Kentaro Kai, and Kozo Shimoyama. Rather than steel or plastic hands, this clock has hands made of light – that’s as minimalist as it gets! Also check out this video.