At sunrise, sans glasses or contacts, my eyes scan the wall across from where I sleep looking for a large analog clock. With my phone left afar in another room for the purposes of digital detox, a traditional clock has created a more peaceful place for rest. But, moderate myopia – aka nearsightedness – does require some squinting and learned guesswork to determine whether there’s time to relax or if it’s time to jump out of bed. San Jose State University industrial design student Celine Wong may have designed the perfect timepiece for someone like myself, one conceived to display a clearer visual representation of the time in comparison to normal clocks while keeping another screen from entering the bedroom.
Wong’s first Muji Clock was inspired by the designer’s affinity for the unbranded “calmness and emptiness” of the Japanese homewares brand, an ethos and aesthetic represented as a minimal circular design that told time like an unfolding fan. But the design revealed a secondary, yet notable consequence: offering an easier to read display for nearsighted eyes.
“I woke up one morning and realized I could see the fan clock without my glasses. I made a few more prototypes and find a few myopic friends to test,” noted Wong, “The result was good and everyone agrees that the fan clock provides a better and clearer visual representation of the time compared to normal clocks.”
Wong’s 2.0 version of the Muji Clock retained its fan-style movement, but took on a rectangular shape, a form serving the needs of the nearsighted with a hidden pull-down storage case for eyeglasses.
“I found that most nearsightedness people put on their glasses and check the time the moment they get out of bed. So I decided to add a glasses storage area near the clock.”
Reading Wong’s Muji Clock 2.0 requires a little training to understand, but once learned it’s easier to discern for the nearsighted.
Wong also envisions her concept clock could be outfitted with light strips to gently illuminate the minutes and hours in the evening.
While Wong’s Muji Clock 2.0 is only a concept at the moment, we’re hopeful its serene innovative design will attract the attention and support of its namesake.
Photos by Celine Wong.