Co.Design

Wall Clock Turns Time Into a Colorful Venn Diagram

Pretty stuff, but don't toss your stopwatch!

If you read our site regularly, you know that we're kinda", sorta?, okay, absurdly obsessed with unconventional timepieces. What can we say" We think there's poetry in rethinking something as fundamental as the way we process time. Our latest find burrows so deep into the abstract, we don't know whether to label it a clock or a piece of art.

It's called About-Time, it's by RISD grad and Fulbright scholar Louie Rigano, and it eschews directional clock hands entirely for what we guess you'd call clock blobs — primary-colored circles that wind around a white face creating new color combinations as they pass each other.

The second hand is big and yellow; the minute hand blue and medium-sized; and the hour hand red and small. For each, the circle's outermost point corresponds to the time. So if red is closest to the 2 o'clock position and blue is closest to the 10, then it's 2:50. If they're all lined up against the 12 o'clock mark (and resemble a sliced hard-boiled egg, as above), it's 12:00. The hands are made out of translucent acetate and mounted on a plastic backing, which hides the clock mechanism underneath.

All told, the thing keeps time about as legibly as you'd expect from a bunch of blobs. Which sounds like an awfully annoying way to figure out whether you're late for work or not, dontcha think? Obviously, though, you wouldn't buy it for its precision clockwork. You'd buy it for the Calder-ish whimsy, for the cleverness, and for the sheer joy of watching the hands spin around like the color wheel you wish you had in first grade.

Unfortunately, you can't buy it at all — it's just a prototype. But Rigano tells Co. he hopes to put it into production, so if you've got any tips for the man, holler at him here.

[Images courtesy of Louie Rigano]

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2 Comments

  • Nicholas Masso

    How does the center axle work? You can't see any mechanisms that turn the discs at different speeds, but they must to tell time.