haeckel clock is a interactive clock app for the iPad inspired by the work of Ernst Haeckel, a famous biologist and artist. the clock elements which represent the time are based on radiolarians, a group of single celled organisms which were often the focus of haeckel’s studies and his intricate illustrations.
the haeckel clock shows the time in two different modes which the user can toggle between by double tapping on the screen. the first mode arranges the units of time into a circular nucleus where the digits of the current time are pulled into the center while the unused digits orbit around the nucleus. as the seconds tick by the digits rearrange themselves in a kind of evolutionary dance, creating a unique and generative representation of time. the second mode is a little more self explanatory and shows the digits arranged into columns. the digits of the current time stack up in columns above the number which they represent while the unused digits stay afloat at the top of the screen.
the clock was developed using openframeworks and box2d (a popular 2d physics library). each digit is interactive so you can grab it and flick it around which i think makes for a fun and tactile experience. once the user releases a digit it quickly springs back to its resting position and helps keep the clock elements in order. the iPad accelerometer is also used to add extra motion to the digits by swaying them in the tilt direction.
the haeckel clock was created in collab with the clever kids @ holler sydney