Dutch designer Maarten Baas has created a timer in collaboration with with kinetic objects company Laikingland that’s specifically designed not to be accurate.
Called Just About Now, the device is started by scooping sand from a bowl into a glass funnel.
From there the sand trickles down into a brass cup that’s attached to a beater, before leaking back into the bowl and causing the beater to strike a gong when the cup is empty.
Baas intends it to be used for measuring periods of time that don’t need to be precise, like taking a nap.
I’ve always had an interest in ways to indicate time. In spite of the fact that time is very abstract and very relative, in the western world it’s normal to indicate time very precisely. Apart from things like train schedules or the duration of sporting games, the exact time is often irrelevant. A coffee break, a meditation, a nap, a business meeting, they could take a few minutes longer or shorter than an exact amount of time. This is why I wanted to create a timer that bangs a gong, more or less after the amount of time you indicated.
There are several objects that illustrate time in a more poetic way, like Mieke Meijers ‘Relativity’ Time pieces or my own ‘Real Time’ series, but a timer hasn’t yet been made that is adjustable and gives a sound after a while. That’s why we developed ‘Just About Now’ – Maarten Baas
Materials: Oak, glass, ceramic, sand, brass.
Dimensions: Height 320 mm Width 435 mm Depth 185mm
Price: On request
Availability: September 2012