When mounted on a wall, the Shadowplay clock by the Vienna-based firm Breaded Escalope takes on the guise of a radiant halo. It glows. It’s gorgeous. It makes you want to touch it. And that’s the point.
Placing a finger in the circle’s center activates sensors that turn off all but three lights. Just like GPS in reverse, the system triangulates which two lights should remain on to create a shadow that reveals the minute and hour hands and the third light cycles around the perimeter to represent seconds.
It’s a clever interface that plays on the notion of a surprise, coming alive through human interaction—a concept that’s certainly of the moment. Last year, ECAL students Guillaume Markwalder and Aurélia von Allmen used a flexible reflective membrane to show a reflection only when a person is directly in front of it. This summer, artist Daniel Rozin created an installation of toy penguins that are activated by human presence.
Michael Tatschl, Breaded Escalope’s co-founder told Dezeen that the design makes the user the most important part of the concept. “We had the feeling that this outcome is a nice contemporary combination of crafts, technology, and human interaction,” he says. “It was quite important to us to keep that balance.”