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What really set this project apart for me was the journey I undertook in order to realise the product. Through re-imagining the hourglass I worked with multiple collaborators and progressed through a vast number of iterations in order to achieve a refined solution. Beginning with a simple unexpected idea, my passion developed throughout the process as I slowly began to see my vision becoming a reality.


With the intended point of sale being a luxury shop, I wanted to address the essence of luxury from more than a purely material perspective - looking into why we appreciate time as something luxurious.

Recurring ideas identified why time is considered to be such a luxury and I would try to incorporate these into my product.

I cast my mind back to reading John Maeda’s ‘The Laws of Simplicity’ to identify how he talks about time and simplicity, wondering if I could then materialise these ideas.

Applying the principles of S.H.E. became a critical aspect of the process.

After developing my understanding of these principles and identifying this physical representation of time, I was reminded of an installation from the London Design Festival. Created by Glithero along with luxury watch maker Panerai, it challenges our society’s perception of time by emphasising it’s physicality - just as I intended to do.

The way in which the installation had given time tactility intrigued me and I wondered whether I could combine this with the traditional time-piece - an hourglass - to allow users to understand and appreciate time.


Early foam board models began to show how the vision would come together.

Realising the idea

With a rough idea of how the product would come together I set about trying to discover how each component would be created and how they would all be assembled.

After many experiments - both successes and failures - I had the product’s main components in raw form.

Controlling the sand

To refine the desired effect, I progressed through a wide range of iterations - from early sketches all the way to a custom 3D printed piece - in order to find a method of controlling the sand flow.

After sketching I progressed into 2.5D modelling. This brought about a multitude of failures but simultaneously allowed me to find solutions.

With the 2.5D model delivering the desired effect this was then translated into 3D - generating multiple iterations of 3D printed pieces.

The Finished Product

With the design finalised, the funnel arrangement refined and the components ready for assembly, the product could finally come together.


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Copyright © Duncan Pattullo 2017