For my Upcycle Project, I am making a device that will allow the user to countdown days, much like an advent calendar or a countdown clock, but with far less utility.
The basic design will have a spring, similar to the leaf spring on a vehicle. This will be bent back and connected to a board using strings. The strings will have lengths that, when cut, allow the spring to go back to rest at specific intervals.
A user will cut the first remaining string at the start of the second day, the spring will point to the second day, and the process is repeated for the remainder of the countdown.
I have acquired particleboard, some actual springs, cotton string, and a razor blade.
The device will feature the materials that are used to make it, much as Philip Johnson did in the architecture of his house in New Canaan house http://theglasshouse.org. If I can find some, I might make the base out of concrete, as that would provide for stability and might force the user to utilize the device only once (the end of the strings would be embedded in the concrete and irreplacible).
If the user decided to use the device again, they would have to tie new strings to the base of the old strings. This would create a system by which one could determine how many cycles the device was used through.