The Present is a trio of clocks that retell the tale of time
Artist Scott Thrift slows down time with three new time-channeling tools dictated by the day, the year, and the moon.
Ignoring seconds, minutes, and hours, Scott Thrift’s ‘time giving gifts’ chart the cycles of the day, the year, and the moon.
Why The Present? To guide thinking and behavior into greater harmony with nature
The Trilogy it clocks tells the story of the seasons using subtle gradients of pure color to mark the Equinoxes & Solstices throughout the years.
The mind behind The Present – Scott Thrift
In addition to product design, he has made hundreds of short films exploring themes like technological potential, the human condition, and the natural world. In 2013, his agency was included in Creativity Magazine’s “Creativity 50,’ an annual list that honors the 50 most influential creative figures.
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Materials & Techniques – Steel, Glass & Cork
Thrift has recently redesigned the three models that make up The Present creating a body made of compression-molded cork from Portugal. Each clock can be encased in steel & glass in keeping with their pared-down and distilled formats.
Cork – a naturally impermeable material – is a smart choice for a click intended to last decades. It protects the inner mechanisms from liquids and gases, mold and dust, and can also withstand intense impact without losing shape
Style & Aesthetics – Soothing Minimalism
Thrift’s meditative concept minimizes the usual data expected from clocks in favor of minimal timepieces without numbers or sound. Soothing in their aesthetic, the first of three single hand clocks completes one full revolution in 24 hours and features a face of blue gradient to convey the changing of day to night.
The second clock charts a lunar cycle with each revolution, with a slightly transparent hand that passes through a light-to-dark gray gradient to represent the waning and waxing of a full moon and the night of a new moon.
The third and final clock takes one full year to complete a single revolution, indicating the seasons as the hand passes through colour representing Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Winter Solstice sits at the top, Summer Solstice at the bottom, and Spring and Fall Equinoxes on each side.
Time over time
Thrift began this project back in 2011 when he launched the ‘The Present’, a seasonal timepiece encouraging us to live in the present moment. In 2016, he launched the ‘Today’ clock, inspired by the view of time on Earth from the window of an airplane, guiding us through a spacious experience of dawn, dusk, noon, and night. Both started on Kickstarter before making their way to the Museum of Modern Art’s Design Store and completely selling out.
Now, with the addition of a clock dedicated to the phases of the moon (also on Kickstarter), Thrift has completed a trilogy, renaming the first clock as ‘Year’ and the second as ‘Day’.
Design memento – Sustainable use of cork
By removing the frame, Thrift offers a simpler, lighter, and more sustainable model. As well as having a practical purpose, his use of cork is ideal for the ecologically-minded user too by offsetting the carbon costs inherent in the manufacturing of steel and glass.
The writer’s opinion comment – Humanitarian design at its best
In The Present, a man-made product revises a man-made construct to bring us closer to nature, ironically. But it does. It’s a contemporary take on a clock that offers a perspective on the world and our existence that extends beyond the 24 hours, 7 days a week, which have been prescribed to us. Thrift says it perfectly when he describes it as a generous companion to the relentless precision of industrial time.
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