For my final project, I would like to design and build a mechanical clock, or a similar mechanism. Although many clocks have been built before, I think I can apply a unique aesthetic to make the project my own. From a purely utilitarian perspective a clock has been done before, but it if you look around the world it’s clear that a timepiece has importance beyond timekeeping. A watch or clock is an expression of the owners personality and provides aesthetic enjoyment for it’s own sake. This may be seen the thousands of different watches and clocks available:
Interestingly, in some cases the aesthetic function of the clock has superseded its time keeping function. The resulting object gives aesthetic enjoyment and a general idea of what time it is, but it lacks precision. I think this sort of design choice is interesting because the clock is no longer trying to compete with more precise devices like cellphones. Rather it focuses on it’s strength as an aesthetic object.
As for the type of clock: I would like my final product to be representative of my interest in both design and mechanical engineering. Clocks with mechanical movements integrate a number of interesting engineering concepts. The escapement mechanism utilizes the physics of pendulum to parse out time with relatively high accuracy. I also like how the gears involved show the geometric relationship between the different units of time. Finally, I think it’s interesting how a tiny movement of the escapement weight powers each tick.
On the web there are a great number of mechanical clock designs to draw inspiration from:
I aspire to build something that has a modern “flat design” aesthetic and that focuses on the expressive qualities of a machine rather than on precision.