Featured Image for Chrolo: the most mesmerising way to watch a minute pass by

Chrolo: the most mesmerising way to watch a minute pass by

It’s time we appreciate the beauty of time.

Singapore-based design studio ‘sparkpluck’ has produced a 3D-printed clock that offers a multisensory and mindful experience of a minute passing by.

“We wanted to completely rethink physical timekeeping devices like the hourglass in a contemporary way using current technology” said co-founder Zhide Loh.

“Chrolo is a timekeeping device that belongs in our time and also offers the experience of being in time. One minute of mindfulness can make a big difference to our everyday lives” says Matthew.

View this post on Instagram

Chrolo is a multisensory, mindful, 3d-printed 60-second kinetic timer. It is an unprecedented piece of design which resulted from an intersection of art, science and technology. . Support our Kickstarter! Link in bio! . . . #design #productdesign #technology #art #science #venicedesign #chrolo #mindfulness #time #timer #clock #hourglass #meditation #kickstarter #crowdfunding #3dprinting

A post shared by sparkpluck (@sparkpluck) on

Here’s how the functional sculpture works: you start by picking up a ball from its base and dropping it into the top funnel. It will then make its way down, moving elegantly back-and-forth, with each swing representing a second. The pendulum-like motion of the sphere is also accompanied by a ticking sound, reminiscent of traditional clocks.

After 60 steps, the ball will land on a brass bell at the bottom, signaling the end of a minute.

Creating it wasn’t easy for designers Matthew Lim and Zhide Loh. With the intricate form impossible to make using conventional manufacturing techniques, they turned to stereolithography, a 3D-printing process which uses a precise laser to shape liquid plastic layer by layer into a solid object.

View this post on Instagram

The mesmerizing pendulum-like motion of the ball is accompanied by a hypnotic ticking reminiscent of everyday clocks. After 60 steps, the ball hits a brass bell at the bottom, beautifully signalling the end of a minute. . 3 days to launch! . . . #chrolo #venicedesign2018 #time #clock #timer #sense #art #design #productdesign #kickstarter #crowdfunding #movement #calming #mindfulness #sculpture #kinetic #3dprinting #desk #deskaccessories

A post shared by sparkpluck (@sparkpluck) on

According to Lim and Loh, the contrasting descriptions of time inspired them to come up with Chrolo’s helic form.

“Whereas Judeo-Christian religions view time progressing in a line, other religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism believe that time moves in a circle. sparkpluck designers realized that a helix is obtained by drawing a circle while traveling perpendicularly on a linear path, resulting in a shape that resolves the seemingly contradictory views.”

Chrolo is currently available for purchase on Kickstarter, where the studio achieved its funding goal in the first four days of its campaign. The clock is also on exhibit at Venice Design 2018 from now until November 26 in Palazzo Michiel, and will also be on display at Dubai Design Week from November 12 to 17.

View this post on Instagram

Samples with their serial numbers in our "lab" . Support our Kickstarter! Link in bio! . . . #chrolo #3dprinting #Kickstarter #stereolithography #technology #design #productdesign

A post shared by sparkpluck (@sparkpluck) on

We recently spoke to ‘sparkpluck’ to learn more about their innovative and whimsical product. Take a look:

Where did you get the inspiration for the Chrolo? And what made you want to create such a timepiece?

“We’ve always been interested in the concept and experience of time. One of our first inspirations came from the two words for time in Greek, ‘chronos’ and ‘kairos’. That got us thinking – why are there such different ways of interpreting time?

“After some additional research, we uncovered several paradoxical questions around time. Is time discrete or continuous? A subjective experience or an objective phenomenon? Does time progress in a linear or cyclical way? These questions guided our design process for Chrolo.

“A big motivator for us to create Chrolo is to ‘rematerialize’ the experience of time. Nowadays, people rely so much on abstract digital tools to make sense of our lives. We wanted to make a timekeeping device that was tactile and tangible.

“We also wanted to see how modern manufacturing techniques like 3D-printing can be used to refresh the tradition of physical timekeeping devices like the hourglass.”

View this post on Instagram

Chrolo combines futuristic 3D-printing technology with the historic romanticism of the hourglass for a refreshing take on the age-old timekeeping tradition. . 4 days to Kickstarter launch! . . . #deskart #sculpture #desk #art #sounds #timepiece #design #time #timer #clock #productdesign #mindful #mindfulness #unplugged #venicedesign2018 #chrolo #kickstarter #crowdfunding #3dprinting #singapore #hourglass #futuristic #analog #hypnotic #kinetic #kineticsculpture #kineticart

A post shared by sparkpluck (@sparkpluck) on

How difficult was it to go from concept to actual product? What were the challenges you initially faced?

“Making Chrolo was more challenging than we expected. Due to the precision required, we had to produce high-quality parts very early on in the developmental process.

“We bought a stereolithography 3D printer to develop and produce Chrolo. There was a great deal of trial-and-error to get every step of Chrolo to measure close to one second so that Chrolo is a somewhat accurate one-minute timer.

“3D printing is a process that also takes a significant amount of time. That means that we were limited by the number of prototypes we can create before sending the piece to Venice for the exhibition. We worked against the clock to make sure that everything fell into place.”

Also, how many prototypes did you go through? How long was the R&D phase?

“We have 123 different digital files for this project so far. In terms of physical prototypes, we printed multiples of those files so the number must be in the hundreds. We started about July last year, so it took us about 11 months from initial conceptualization to the final product, shown at Venice Design 2018. This was alongside other projects that we were doing in the studio.”

View this post on Instagram

Chrolo begins with you picking up a ball from its base and dropping it into the top funnel. Through gravity, the ball descends and traces time through a back-and-forth, oscillating movement. . 1 day to launch! . . . #chrolo #kickstarter #launch #tactile #senses #gravity #movement #clock #time #timer #kinetic #countdown #mindfulness #art #design #productdesign #venicedesign2018 #crowdfunding #3dprinting #steelballrun

A post shared by sparkpluck (@sparkpluck) on

Chrolo is currently on exhibit at Venice Design 2018, what reactions has it generated?

“What we noticed at the opening was that people were willing to stay for the entire minute to look at the ball descend and hit the bell at the end. For us, the willingness to wait is a form of validation in itself as people were willing to trade their time for an experience that we’ve designed.

“The people who we spoke to at the exhibition were intrigued by the work. Many thought that it is beautiful and thoughtful, a select few said that it felt magical.

“Global Art Affairs (GAA), the organizers of Venice Design, has recently informed us that Chrolo will be travelling to Dubai Design Week (12-17 November) due to the positive response garnered.”

You’ve successfully crowdfunded Chrolo on Kickstarter. What’s next for you?

“The next immediate task would be to deliver on our promise to ship out Chrolo for those who paid for the ‘Christmas Rush’ option. We have made orders to our suppliers and have begun producing parts for those first ten pieces.

“Based on our campaign numbers so far, we will be busy producing another run in the early part of 2019. Beyond that, we are looking for other opportunities to show Chrolo and have more people experience it for themselves.

“As a young design studio, we are also interested in working with other people and companies on projects which meld digital technologies with tangible experiences.”

View this post on Instagram

Hard at work ironing out the kinks for our upcoming Kickstarter for Chrolo

A post shared by sparkpluck (@sparkpluck) on

You can pre-order a Chrolo by heading over to sparkpluck’s Kickstarter page. Their campaign ends on Friday, so be quick before you run out of time!