Great Design or Great Fun?

In an earlier post I talked about the wonders of the mechanical clock and the joys of the watch.

The clock is the gift that keeps on giving, there never ceases to be a new and exciting way to tell the time. As I recently scrolled through ‘Dezeen’, I came across this shadowplay clock, and it looks amazing!

However, I haven’t yet decided if this is great design, or just fun design.

The idea itself is great, here is a clock that is not simply an object to be observed from a distance but has instead been made into one that requires interaction to be of use. It has combined the whole history human time-telling into one new clock. It has taken the shadow element of the sundial, the mechanical layout of a traditional clock and the electronic elements of a digital clock, creating one beautiful and intriguing time telling device.

It is a wonderfully playful design that reminds me heavily of being a child and playing with torches to create shadow animals and it would certainly be a talking point in your home but is it more of a display piece for exhibition rather than actual use?

It is the need for interaction that causes my great or simply fun dilemma. The function of a clock is to allow us to tell the time, which with interaction this does. However it has made the function a bit inconvenient, the clock is no longer something you can simply glance at as you pass.Additionally as I have previously mentioned, a clock without numbers or markers of any kind is pretty useless.

But does that mean that this isn’t great? Well my heart says, to hell with its function, its great, it really is! But my head suggests that the idea is great, the experience of it would be great but that it is great more as a piece of art,which technically it was designed to be, than as an object of function which I believe a great clock should always be.

To find out more about the Shadowplay Clock, or to watch some great videos of it in use, follow the link!


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