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Christiaan Postma Clock

by Brian Fichtner
on 21 April 2008

The sprawling Spazio Rossana Orlandi was almost a fair unto itself, featuring the annual Design Academy Eindhoven student show and work by Piet Hein Eek, Front, Jaime Hayon, Studio Libertiny and many others. One of the most intriguing pieces on view was a clock by the Stockholm based, Dutch designer Christiaan Postma.

For some reason, one of the perennial engagements in design is the nature of time. Like the side chair, which is one of those iconic objects every designer must face, the clock has received particular attention over the years. Just last year, Established & Sons released Sebastian Wrong's sensational Font Clock, a piece that viewed the passage of time through an ever-shifting array of fonts. I think Christiaan has trumped Wrong on the conceptual level with this clock.


Composed of more than 150 individual clocks mounted to a 140 cm x 140 cm panel, hour and minute dials are clustered in a seemingly haphazard pattern. In actuality, the groupings have been meticulously arranged and the times coordinated so that when the time is say, twelve o' clock, a cluster of individual clocks at the top of the panel spell the word twelve. These groupings have been laid out to recreate the twelve hours of an analog clock. What happens when it's 3:30? Well, as three begins to pass into four, the former starts to disintegrate into illegible lines, while the latter starts to take the shape of an actual word, in this case, four. It's an engaging representation of the ephemeral quality of time, and a slow reminder of its inevitable passage.

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