Tick Tock: Keeping Tabs on Time in 2021 with Great Design

Alessia Musillo
·3 minuto per la lettura
Photo credit: Courtesy Solari Design
Photo credit: Courtesy Solari Design

From ELLE Decor

When Big Ben in London, the Rathaus-Glockenspiel in Munich, the astronomic clock in Prague, and the Rajabhai in Mumbai struck midnight on December 31, 2020, we were all at home for an intimate countdown in the company of only our closest loved ones. With soft lockdowns and color-coded regions still to come, we traded in one of the craziest of nights of the year for an evening marked by the ticking of our clocks.

Ushering in a new year, we give a new sense to time — a sense of anticipation. After all, 2020 just might have been a year suspended in time. “It’ll pass…”, “When this is all over, we can go out and then…”, “Who knows what will happen afterward”. Perhaps we should have faced this period like Zeno of Citium. The philosopher, a disciple of Parmenides (and maybe even his lover), left us with a series of interesting paradoxes to support his theory: reality consists of a single and immutable Being. That concerning time, the third paradox, defines an arrow in flight as stopped, completely frozen. While it's true that the arrow, once released, moves towards its final destination, along the journey are a series of single instants in which it remains immobile.

So although we might not know what to expect of this 2021, perhaps we could learn to live in the immobility of the journey, enjoying every positive moment yet to come. Maybe this is the sense to give to the ticking hands of our clocks at home. After all, they’re the only objects in the world capable of transforming an abstract concept — time — into something concrete.

Photo credit: Courtesy Alessi
Photo credit: Courtesy Alessi

Ora Out by Giulio Iachetti is a minimal and essential clock for Alessi. A simple object capable of giving physical form to time and realized in thermoplastic resin. With this, the ticking of its hands in a frame of curves, becomes a reassuring sound faithful to one of humanities oldest concepts.

Photo credit: Courtesy Normann Copenaghen
Photo credit: Courtesy Normann Copenaghen

The Watch me wall clock by Rasmus Gottliebsen for Normann Copenaghen measures time in a frame made of sharp yet colored geometries, sparking a sweet dialogue between tones and forms. In a range of linear graphic expressions, the countdown is expressed in an aesthetic to be lived by the second.

Photo credit: Courtesy Solari Design
Photo credit: Courtesy Solari Design

The Dator clock by Solari Lineadesign is an expression of the everyday encased within an important design, today an icon of passing time. This perpetual calendar recalls the time of travel, with a movement taking after airport and train station billboards indicating arrivals and departures.

Photo credit: Courtesy Vitra
Photo credit: Courtesy Vitra

The Sunburst Clock by George Nelson for Vitra has measured time since 1948. Still, it’s a timeless object celebrating the passing of seconds, minutes, and hours in a geometric form with hands, not numbers, that made it iconic in the first place. Various types of wood and metal are paired with a time that (aesthetically) seems infinite.

Photo credit: Courtesy Tacchini
Photo credit: Courtesy Tacchini

The Mod wall clock by Think Work Observe for Tacchini is inspired by the world of electronica and progress. Available in two versions — round with curved angles or squared — it unites concept and aesthetic through wood. Here time refers to nature. After all, does the passing of time not depend on the environment?