Last updated May 16th 2015
As Albert Einstein once said, “Time is relative.”
Studio Ve, a design studio founded by Shay Carmon and Ben Klinger, has embraced the idea that people see time differently and designed four differently beautiful wall clocks – Manifold, Lithe, Perspective and K Clock – that challenge the traditional “twelve prong” design of your average clock. As time runs its natural course, these clocks unfold, quiver, and shape-shift throughout the day, making it hard to ignore their presence, changing the way we think about time with each passing minute.
Clocks that reflect the times
Each Studio Ve clock has a personality of its own, narrowing our attention to a unique property about time. Whether it’s the mesmerizing way time repeats itself every time the Manifold Clock completes a rotation of its colorful fan, or the way the long, light hands of Lithe Clock reminds us how delicate and fleeting time can be, Studio Ve breathes new life into a commonplace object we often take for granted.
“Although art clocks are harder to read, you can get used to them and read them easily.” Klinger tells NoCamels. “People always email us a couple of months after they buy it [and] they say ‘Wow, what a cool object’, ‘How does it work?’, and ‘I really like the concept’. It really changes the way they see and think about clocks.”
A big hit with the crowds
Consumers buy Studio Ve’s clocks for their unique, aesthetic appeal as well as for the designer’s vision that stands behind them. This became evident back in 2010 when 800 online orders were placed for the Manifold Clock and Studio Ve only had about 100 made to sell during the winter holiday shopping season. Despite receiving some customer complaints over improper packaging and shipping damage, Studio Ve learned an important lesson: “the concept was really good but the quality wasn’t.” Klinger explained. “We spent a year redesigning everything – using a better box, using better material. It took us a long, long time.”
Getting back to the drawing board has certainly paid off as all four of Studio Ve’s clock designs became instant hits on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, with the artistic team quickly achieving their funding goals. Now, due to popular demand, Studio Ve is currently working on new designs to add to their collection.
Making the world a more interesting place
Studio Ve is all about making art functional, and not about transforming something functional (like a clock) into art. This aligns well with most of Studio Ve’s consumers – a global mix that mainly consists of Americans, Australians, and Germans, but also Egyptians and residents of the United Arab Emirates – who are attracted to the thought and engineering that goes into Studio Ve’s clocks.
“We don’t want to make the world a better place. We want to make it more interesting”, the Studio Ve motto goes. In their eyes, there are too many people obsessed with making a difference in the world and with making a name for themselves, which makes the guys at Studio Ve want to reflect a counter-attitude. “The one thing we want is to make people think,” Klinger says, “To enjoy the things we create, and to make it fun!”
Embracing the new world around them, Studio Ve is now one of the only design firms in Israel to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for their clocks.
On the internet, designers of every skill level can be found, and while Studio Ve compares themselves to other clock designers like LEFF Amsterdam, they admit they are still long ways away from being at eye-level with this firm’s quality of operations. But they are getting there. Clocks aren’t the only thing that Studio Ve puts out; they also make stylish two-legged tables, bookends, shelves, bookmarks and even a funky looking rocking chair.
Customer approval is a springboard for improvement
Despite outsourcing their white clock molds in China, Studio Ve is proud to say that all of the other parts on their clocks uphold the labels on their packaging: ‘Designed in Tel Aviv, Made in Israel’.
Recently, the prolific art products chain store, MoMA, picked up the five clocks in Studio Ve’s Perspective series for retail, supplementing Studio Ve’s website, the Uncommon Goods catalogue, and the Israeli retail chain store Soho, as additional locations consumers can go to purchase Studio Ve’s clocks.
According to Studio Ve, personal living spaces like bedrooms and living rooms are the most popular locations for their clock, as many consumers enjoy referring to them not only for the time, but also as a source of inspiration.
Photos: Studio Ve