Penumbra: a shadow cast by a celestial body, mimics the aesthetics of a traditional sundial using LEDs to simulate the progression of the sun and moon. From sunrise to sunset the ‘sun’ light traverses the edge of the clock, changing tone throughout the day, casting a shadow that allows the user to tell the time. The lunar cycle is also taken in to account, providing a pilot light during day, and if the moon is out at night, the ‘moon’ light becomes the primary light source. If the moon is not out after sunset, the clock is plunged into darkness.

Though it is a practical time-telling device, Penumbra encourages us to notice the natural world and its cyclic time of birth, death and renewal. This is juxtaposed with the advanced technology it uses; technology that pushes us into an increasingly linear time as we chase the next advancement.

The face of Penumbra is made from natural limestone, giving a celestial moon-like appearance to the clock, and echoing the ancient cyclic time of the natural world.


Materials: Steel (casing & gnomon) / limestone (face)

Mechanism: LEDs running custom programme (rise and set times co-ordinated using latitude & longitude position)

Size: 35 cm x 10 cm


Penumbra is due to feature in Wallpaper* Magazine's January 2016 edition in their New Designers article.

This piece was exhibited in the Manchester School of Art Master's Degree Show in October 2015.

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To read about the making of Penumbra, please have a look at my Product Design (MA) Blog.