A Brooklyn Studio Whose Creations Alter Our Perspectives on Time
Brooklyn design studio CW&T is on a mission to change our perspectives on time. To do so, it adapts everyday objects—including clocks, pens, patches, and jump ropes—into understated items that operate in delightful, unexpected ways. The practice, co-founded by Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy, in 2009, envisions each of its creations as the last of its kind that a user will ever need, and as an integral, enduring part of their lives.
Unlike traditional timekeeping devices, which mark the passing of each moment using a universal, seemingly unstoppable force, CW&T creates devices that invite people to measure time on their own terms and in new, meaningful ways. Its Time Since Launch clock, for example, begins ticking when a pin at one end is pulled, and counts the following days, hours, minutes, and seconds for 2,738 years. Housed in a borosilicate glass tube and sealed with gasketed aluminum end-caps, the tool is a way of celebrating a beginning (such as getting married, having a baby, or even just starting a new day), and of elevating a moment. In a similar vein, CW&T’s Superlocal 24-hour clock, which debuted on Kickstarter this past October and swiftly blew past its fundraising goal, lets users set it according to how they spend their days. Its customizable dial has tiny magnetic spheres that can be placed at any interval around its perimeter to delineate milestones throughout the day, resulting in a clock that revolves around the user’s life rather than the other way around.
Other projects view time on a never-ending spectrum. Pen Type-A, an indestructible stainless-steel writing instrument that doubles as a ruler, is meant to be passed down from generation to generation; while the Forever Jump Rope features ergonomic aluminum or stainless-steel handles connected by a leather or PVC cord that prevents stretch, even after long-term use. There’s also the N-Urn, a quartz glass and aluminum bronze vessel that invites users to design an urn as a way to think about the limitless concepts of ritual and death.
As Wang and Levy continue to think expansively about the possibilities that lie within objects we interact with every day, the through line of their work remains focused on finding new ways to raise awareness about the value of time. “You can feel time,” Wang says in one of the firm’s Kickstarter videos. By using its creations, he continues, “you stop thinking about time in terms of hours and minutes, and start to think about it in terms of how much space is left until a new moment begins.”