Uji is a radically different way of looking at, and thinking about time. It is an object that visualises time using the human heartbeat. Using Arduino, wearable technologies - radio modules and ECG sensors - and electromagnets, Uji lets you see your own heartbeat, and so yourself, existing in time.

By projecting one's self through the physical expression of the heartbeat, we can begin to understand ourselves as existing 'for the time being'. By removing seconds, minutes and hours – yet utilise the design archetype of the wall clock – we can embed zen philosophies of time to an object. Providing a meditation on what it means to be in time, rather than passing through it, or anticipating it.

Crafting an object that holds particular wabi-sabi values, Uji is an expression of rough, imperfect materiality. Made from a single piece of handmade ceramic, Uji's black metal hands swing in sync with the heartbeat, contrasting tone and texture in a movement that is continually distinct.

As a piece of critical design, it questions the role of a death-clock as a timepiece that simply counts down the time to your death. Uji presents a refined simplicity through action, and eventual in-action, which is more appropriate and symbolic. Uji suggests that any object that provokes a reflection on mortality should provide many shades of interpretation and demonstrate that life is not represented best by the past or future, but the ever-present now.

Uji was designed by Ivor Williams,
Federico Floriani and Jonathan Chomko

Photography by Marco Zanin
Video by Coleman Guyon
Build by David Peñuela
Designed and assembled at Fabrica.

For more information,
please contact at contact@whatisuji.info

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Still images may not be used for publication or reproduction
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