Interaction and Communication II


School of Visual Arts
209 E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010
(506 Studio)
Tuesdays, 6:30-9:20pm
Spring 2023

Anthony Zukofsky

Last updated: March 16, 2023

About the site

A Timepiece

The art of the past has accustomed us to seeing nature as static: a sunset, a face, an apple, all static. People go to nature looking for images such as these static things, whereas an apple is in fact a moment in the process from apple-seed to tree, blossom, fruit. — Bruno Munari

 Wyoscan, Dexter Sinister, 2012.

On September 10, 2014, CEO Time Cook stood on stage at an Apple Computer special event announcing he has “one more thing” to show the audience of developers, reporters, and fans. The one more thing aws Apple Watch, a hotly anticipated hardware which took the outer form of a standard wristwatch but whose functional relationship to a wristwatch was that of the iPhone to a rotary-dial hard-wired Bell telephone. The Apple Watch is of both the future and the past, impossibly retrograde and fantastically forward-pointing. Apple Watch can send email, transribe and send text messages, show the next event on a calendar, navigate step-by-step to a destination, forecast the weather, keep track of daily excercise, measure and record heartbeats, play podcasts, Apple Pay for goods and services, and so on. Many of it’s functions were familiar from the iPhone, but the way in which these were now presented to the user was entirely novel. For example, Calendar was reconcieved from the spactial metaphore of a month at time, days organized on a two-dimensional grid to a temporal sequence of notifications delivered over the course of a day. Messages was also redesigned from a digressive, interactive chat tool to a more immediate and lower bandwidth channel to encourage brief replies with a templated response such as “Hello!” “What’s up?” and “On my way.” These changes, accomdations to the small screen size and bodily location, were interface design changes. The interaface is a collection of choices and together these form a specific point of view which has consequences on how the watch is used.

Using the existing Apple Watch Human Interface guidelines and departing from the conventions only if and when necassary should help projects be more comparable from one student to another, as well as more plausible within the existing Apple Watch clock interface. As it turns out, redesign of the Apple Watch clock face is the one part of the interface which Apple has identified as off-limits to third-party developers. 

The goal of this assignment is to redesign the face of Apple Watch in order to change the way time is read. This can be functional or speculative. 

1 Week


  • What are the means for time-keeping?

  • Could this be an investigation into historical methods of time including sundials, sandclocks or an atomic clock? 

  • Why are you proposing this new clock? What’s wrong with other modes of time keeping?

  • How do you challenege the concept of time?


  • A brief reserach presentation into your area of interest, process and output.

  • A clock interface design proposal

  • A five minute prototype demonstrating your proposed clock interface, how it works, what it looks like, how it behaves, and why it matters.



This assignment is a translation of an excerpt from A New Program for Graphic Design by David Reinfurt. Thank you.