These calendars transform a predictable, functional item into a design-conscious object. Japanese designer Hiroyuki Miyake‘s Measure Calendar (above) transforms a retractable tape measure into a day-by-day calendar that gradually decreases in size as the year progresses. For each day, one centimetre retracts in a painstakingly slow process that turns the calendar into a performative piece of art that spans an entire year.
‘At the present age when all things are digitised and even the time is equalised, I believe that this calendar gives new value of the time,’ says Miyaki.
Meanwhile, German designer Susanna Hertrich‘s Chrono Shredder (above) likewise focuses on this concept of diminishment over a long period of time. The mini one day calendar shreds each day as it passes, leaving its trace in a heap of waste paper.
‘The machine as performer. Chrono-Shredder is a poetic time-object that reminds us of the volatileness of the ‘now’. As hybrid object with functions similar to those of a calendar and a clock, it shreds every single day in realtime. All that time that is irrevisibly lost gets a tangible existence in form of shredded paper. As time passes by, the tattered remains of the past pile up under the device,’ says Hertrich.
Sebastian Bergne‘s desktop calendar Monthly Measure (above) is composed of a metal gear that has the days of the weak carved on it, and a long piece of corrugated wood along which it rolls, which has the numbers of the month printed on it. Just like Miyake’s calendar, this piece uses one centimetre increments to measure the time, and so likewise functions as a measuring device of space as well as time.
‘Design is the creation of the material world around us; the process by which everything can be made beautiful, useful, meaningful, desirable or simply a joy to use,’ says Bergne.
And this is certainly true; in all these works the idea of time passing relentessly – yet passing all the same – is prevalent. A sense of its slow inevitability and irreversible nature turns transforms the calendar’s simple time-keeping function into a time-passing mini spectacle.