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Perspective Clocks

Not your ordinary clocks—five different designs from Tel Aviv's Studio Ve rethink how we read changes in time

by Nara Shin in Design on 21 January 2014

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Tel Aviv-based Studio Ve is comprised of Shay Carmon and Ben Klinger, two young men who like exploring objects and their conception—whether it's a Two Leg Table or a Toast-ER that "revives" sad bread. More recently they've been experimenting with clocks, and their previous Manifold and Lithe designs—both successfully funded through Kickstarter—challenge the way users read and perceive changes in time.

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This time around, they've brainstormed not one but five new clocks, dubbed the "Perspective" series. "Each clock is a whole different story—production-wise, size-wise, and even customer-wise," Klinger tells CH. "Some people are systematic, approaching challenges step by step. Other view things from different angles, while some people focus directly on the target." The resulting clocks cater to different personalities.

The D Clock, or "Different Angles," for example, reminds us that in our three-dimensional world, objects look different based on our point of view. Looking straight ahead, the clock has linear hands, but from the side, the hands expand into shapes. The most unusual part is the way the three hands interact—they're sized so that they can pass through one another.

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The Z Clock, or "Wander Around" is equally appealing. Because the hands are bent into arrow shapes, the lines overlap frequently and strike numerous poses (at a specific time, they form a "Z"—hence the name) throughout the hour. In the one hour time-lapse, their sweeping movement resembles a beautifully choreographed dance.

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"This series is an indirect descendent of our previous clock designs. We used metal rods in the Manifold & Lithe clocks. This material is available in our studio, so one day we just played with compositions using this material only and created 20 different versions of clocks. Then we selected the five we liked best," says Klinger. "When we made the transition from design to production, we changed the hands’ material to ABS, but the basic idea remains. This is because of the force the metal formations put on the movement."

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"The perception of time is an evolving concept. It started way back when people used the sun to tell time. Sometime along this evolution, with the appearance of the digital watches, time became less experiential," says Klinger. "I think that today there’s a clear division of time perception—analog clocks are becoming objects with meaning, while digital time is just another piece of data. Our main objective when we design a clock is not to make it easy to read, but rather to surprise and rejuvenate as time passes." While a smartphone only requires a quick glance, the "Perspective" Clocks are meant to be stared and studied.

Snag a clock of your choice for $55 by contributing to the Kickstarter campaign and help give Studio Ve reach their goal.

Images courtesy of Studio Ve

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