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VISUALIZING THE FLOW OF TIME our time verses public time, how to visualize the flow of time and methods of ambient timing

by alec seelig

industrial design senior capstone 2013 jonas milder and jason lempieri


how well the skillful gardener drew

of flowers, and herbs, this dial new; where, from above, the milder sun

does through a fragrant zodiac run, and, as is works, the industrious bee computes its time as well as we!

how could such sweet and wholesome hours be reckoned but with herbs and flowers!

-

andrew marvell 1621-1678


visualizing the flow of time

table of contents

user profiles and stakeholders literature review precedent and market research project statement project strategy project analysis plan and timeline appendix


visualizing the flow of time

While in kenya, continuing our junior studio project, we kept running into the “problem” of what we jokingly began to call “Kenyan time.” 3:30pm to us could be anytime during mid afternoon to people we had plans with and that planned activates and meetings were not set as strict as we plan here. It took us a little while to realize how people planned to arrive at events and meetings; “lets have lunch then tea in Ndabibi at 2:15 tomorrow…” now we never factored in that the person we were meeting may be traveling from 15 miles away, or farther, on foot or by truck over “roads,” I put this in quotes because they were the farthest thing from a road (outside Naivasha and Nairobi)


visualizing the flow of time

People in rural Kenya are not dependent on ‘clock time’ to survive, aside from children who have to get up and walk 1, 5, 15 miles to get to school at 8am. In rural Kenya and especially in Ndabibi the cycles of dry and wet months are what are necessary to know for survival.


1

user profiles and stakeholders


“then

on the fifty-ninth

second he opens his mouth

and eats up the time! and you can’t get it back!”

-dr.

john c. taylor


visualizing the flow of time

david smordoni

I wanted to know about movements and how certain ways of physically measuring time could benefit various ways of displaying it. I asked him about watch and clock movements, his background and basic watch making methods. I asked him about this because of his background in the watch industry both as a designer and as a master watchmaker. From David I am learning about basic watch making, from materials to methods of production.

david is a design director at geneva watch group, a watch designer, a

master watchmaker and an executive in the industry

image above

-

orangemagazinetv.com


visualizing the flow of time

william j. h. andrews

master watchmaker, former apprentice

under charles daniels and longitudinal sundial designer, he also formerly worked with the time museum in rockford illinois

William J. H. Andrews gave the first of the many lectures of the weekend in Pasadena; the time of our lives symposium opening lecture, gave insight to William Andrew’s life in the horological community. I was able to talk with him afterwards about some of the sundials he had been making as they base their method of time telling in a similar way to my project by using the suns light. We also talked about how the sun can be used to display several other measurements, in which he had incorporated into his dials some of which had multiple complications. He was also a great person to talk with because of his incredible knowledge of antique watches and clocks. Will Andrews also worked as a clock maker and restorer under Charles Daniels, the master watchmaker and inventor who created the double wheel escapement which today many brands use including F.P Journe, a watch company which produces some of the most exceptional modern watches in the world.

both images above

-

hodinkee.com


visualizing the flow of time

dr. john c. taylor

master watchmaker, former apprentice

under charles daniels and longitudinal sundial designer, he also formerly worked with the time museum in rockford illinois

As John Taylor described to me, “ I hate modern art, most sculpture, and I find clocks terribly boring, so I wanted to make a clock that made time interesting to me.” This was funny of course, the comment of clocks boring him, considering he has the worlds most impressive and valuable collection of Thomas Tompion clocks and watches. Next he described to me his corpus clock. “then on the fifty-ninth second he opens his mouth and eats up the time! and you can’t get it back!” Taylor then hit me on the shoulder as he prononces this. I next told him about my capstone and my concepts and about my ideas of ambient timing and saved and spent time as well as personal and private time. He was intrigued but as he was busy with many people coming up and talking to him at the time for everyone symposium, left me with one final comment, “there are many ways we see our time, find what is personal and what personal means to people.”

image above

-

timeforeveryone.org


visualizing the flow of time

greg thumm

current president at bulova, master watchmaker and long time industry executive

image above

-

thechurchillinstitute.org


visualizing the flow of time

dr. david eagleman

neuroscientist and writer at the baylor college of medicine

image above

-

watchpro.com

“Time and The Brain,” focused on the brain’s perception of time in certain events. His opening question was, “how far in the past do we live?” As he explains, the way we perceive an event is what happens next in what is called subjective time. Eagleman then demonstrated how this works. He had an animation of a ring going clockwise around the projector screen and at a single point a flash would appear in the center of the ring. As the flash occurs, we say it as being half in and half out of the ring. Though when he does a similar animation where the ring goes half way around a circle and then the flash appears inside as it is stopped, we see it as inside the ring entirely.


visualizing the flow of time

dr. eagleman’s presentation at the time for everyone symposium

This he then explained is because it takes the brain 1/10th of a second to process what the eye sees, or to perceive the present. Anything less than 100 milliseconds apart (non synchronized audio and visual) the brain will synchronize on its own. This is also shown how we perceive the present as we blink, which causes the brain to lose 80 milliseconds of visual time but not audio. Though the brain makes up for this by remembering what we saw before our eyes closed and what we saw after our eyes opened correcting it for the loss of those 80 milliseconds. This is a clear example to show how time and memory are so intertwined. Dr. Eagleman’s also covered his research to find if subjective time can run in slow motion, in reference to the phenomena of “seeing your life flash before your eyes” in a near death experience, also more than this but why the brain perceives so many details and slow motion in these events.


2

literature review


“a

clock ticks more uniformly

than does another if the way is works can convince us it ought to...the most

convincing clock, therefore, remains the most accurate one until such time that someone can think of a

reason acceptable to others, why the clock ought not be accurate.�

-j.t.

fraser


visualizing the flow of time

From J.T. Fraser’s book, time, the familiar stranger, which is a thirty year long compilation of work, I have learned of the dawn of the calendar and the importance of time for the survival of civilizations with the use of cycles in farming and also in religion and belief for making sense of the celestial sky, which gave way to knowing when to come to prier. Later in the book the chronology of the pendulum clock and mechanical clock and watch is laid out. With part of the end discussion of modern clocks, including the cesium atom clock is this passage; “a clock ticks more uniformly than does another if the way is works can convince us it ought to...the most convincing clock, therefore, remains the most accurate one until such time that someone can think of a reason acceptable to others, why the clock ought not be accurate.” Further on away from time telling comes the psychological aspect of time. at one point a child makes the discovery of birth, death and sexuality. “the knowledge of inevitable passing was then added to the other elements of the developmental feedback circuit.” pg 9 ‘The Discovery of Time’


visualizing the flow of time

“the

knowledge of inevitable

passing was then added to the other elements of the

developmental feedback circuit.�

-j.t.

fraser


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time


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precedent and market research


Public time is a term that first came about in the 1840s during the great expansion of the railway systems across the world. Before this idea of public time, also referred to as standard time and standard rail time, there was local time. One city could have multiple times, not to be confused with time zones, but many different clocks with different times and not until the railroad became so widely used, did the synchronization of clocks become important. this idea of public time is the world time for our global society and economies but what about our time?


visualizing the flow of time

the old orsay station rail station and clock in paris


visualizing the flow of time

Public time is a term that first came about in the 1840s during the great expansion of the railway systems across the world. Before this idea of public time, also referred to as standard time and standard rail time, there was local time. One city could have multiple times, not to be confused with time zones, but many different clocks with different times and not until the railroad became so widely used, did the synchronization of clocks become important. this idea of public time is the world time for our global society and economies but what about our time?


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time

“time

is now

currency: it

is not passed but spent.”

Stephen Duck English poet 1705?-1756

Christiaan Huygens invention of the pendulum clock, in 1656, created a 3600 second hour, pushing the accuracy of time keeping and leading the world towards an obsession with precision. On the left are three different clock towers from very different periods in time, showing that the modern world has continued to increase its value of public time to keep it’s cities and markets moving.


visualizing the flow of time

image above left

-

telegraph.co.uk and christies.com image above right

-

perpetuelle.com


visualizing the flow of time

On the left is the Breguet half hunter case wristwatch. It has a concealed tourbillon and an opening to display the twelve-hour dial. This is a very inspiring design because it allows the user to see what is most important and then once open it reveals the mechanism or the other complications that are secondary or supportive of the visible display. On the right is the HD3 Slyde watch, a luxury digital watch that stores several “machines,� as HD3 calls them. The watch allows the user to switch between several displays of time and movements, including a tourbillion, a chain driven movement and a classic skeletonized automatic. This is a very inspiring piece for it allows the user to change the way they visualize the physical measurement of time.


visualizing the flow of time

image above

-

the new everyday, views on ambient intelligence


visualizing the flow of time

This concept is a digital garden, an ambient form of seeing time and people passing through a space. It grows as people, busy travelers in an airport or train station setting, pass by and add to the garden.


visualizing the flow of time

image above

-

johnctaylor.com


visualizing the flow of time

The Corpus Clock, also named the chronophage, a Greek term meaning ‘time eater,’ is a 4 ½ foot diameter gold plated sculpture with a creature, this one is a grasshopper in reference to John Harrison’s 18th century grasshopper escapement mechanism, that jumps forward to “eat up the time.” It is the first clock, also patented, to show relative time.


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project statement


VISUALIZING THE FLOW OF TIME


visualizing the flow of time

Life isn’t one simple number. It’s not a measurement of time. Existence is a measurement of time though, from birth, or conception, to death and eventual decomposition but experience is not measurable. But maybe I’m wrong; you can measure the amount of time it took you to eat a meal, how long you were at a high altitude with thin air or having sex but you can always recall the senses felt during an experience but most likely you can not recal or know the actual time of the event, so its memory and I’m not sure that is measurable in time, clock time. Why count small amounts, why be obsessed with it, why not just let it count up? What does it mean to count cycles? From the understanding of time we can give things ages; all of us, reigns of power, past species, man made creations even the earth and nearly everything else, or in theory nearly everything else. From this we know time is, if it makes sense to say so, was always passing, is always passing and will always pass. (Of course there is the “beginning of time”) So why measure a life in numbers from start to finish, why be so obsessed with counting small sections of that life? What if it was accepted that time will just pass, as it has been and always will? With all this said and still looking back at time, as we can’t escape it, what are our methods and perceptions of saving time and spending time and most importantly visualizing time? How do we all have a different perception of this and how is it that we change this perception? How does the complexity of our culture, our religion, our environment, our age, our gender and our economic position affect this perception? Lastly, how can I alter or focus in on these perceptions? image to the left

-

an eighteenth century headstone in charleston south carolina


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time

The story of Galileo and the swinging of the chandelier in the cathedral of Pizza is what I thought of, thinking about private and personal time. In Galileo’s findings with the swinging chandelier, he found that the earth’s rotations could be timed making the earth itself a clock. He did this by using his heartbeat, his personal clock, as the comparable beat to measure the movement. The earth’s rotations just as our pulse is predictable much as clock time is, it is a measurement of predictable moments.


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time

Ambient timing

Watching the seconds tick away is stressful. This is an ambient way of keeping time throughout the day from dawn till dusk and a digital moonphase or an analog or digital display at night. The watch dial displays colors that crossfade and change every hour as the kelvin temperature of the suns light changes as it moves across the sky.

Alec Seelig Fall 2013


visualizing the flow of time

Watching the seconds tick away is stressful. This is an ambient way of keeping time throughout the day from dawn till dusk and a digital moon phase or an analog or digital display at night. The watch dial displays colors that crossfade and change every hour as the kelvin temperature of the suns light changes as it moves across the sky.


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time

This is a second iteration of the visible light display watch.


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time


5

project strategy


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time


6

project analysis


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time


7

plan and timeline


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time


8

appendix


visualizing the flow of time


visualizing the flow of time


Alec capstone book ©alec seelig 2014  

work in progress

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