2016 / NEW YORK





On the Elasticity

and Subjectivity

of Time

Reframing Time

The products offerings in this section should be read as critical and speculative design interventions which are aimed to provoke thoughts around the topic rather than being finished and polished design pieces.

Clocks were initially designed for

religious purposes.


They later became an important tool of industrialization and modern life. We put them at highest points of our walls as if they are infallible.



Clocks might also be the only electronical product that doesn’t have an on/off button. As a designer, that fact provoked me. Of course, there might have been some technical reasons behind of it; however, it doesn’t help much with our relationship with time. Is it so important to always need to keep track of time? Is it essential for our mind and body in order to survive?


Timeoff is a clock that only functions when it is needed.

Here is a video showing that experience;

Timeoff clock is also a symbolic product. It is a way to say no to the distractions that constantly fight for our attention. It gives us the sense of having the control over the system by providing time, space and silence.


“We need time and space and silence to remember who we are, who once were, and who we can become. There is a way, and every one of us contains the potential to find it”


Jonathan Harris & Greg Hochmuth




I wanted to continue to explore ways to reframe time. I built upon the concepts behind the Time-off clock and I designed Reflect.


Reflect, a smartwatch app that changes the relationship between the users and their clock. in the original relationship, the user asks the clock what time it is and in the new relationship clock asks the user what time it is. While Timeoff clock help user by giving sense of having the control of time, Reflect helps user reframe and define their own time.

The user tells Reflect the time he or she feels. On Sundays, you may want to enjoy your day and the numbers on the clock may, then, become meaningless for you.

What if you just want to enjoy the present, do you need a clock at all? When you define your own time it empowers you to spend your time the way you wish.

Reflect shows the time by your definition, as well as, it helps you to set the notification settings based on your time definition. When you define the time as “dinner time” you can completely turn off your phone. When you set it as “Sunday” you may want to give access only to text messaging but no phone calls.


Switching the mode of the phone to "mute" is answer of "what?". The reason we do that is because we don't want to be bothered and distracted by our phones since we are not available at that time. We might be having a family dinner, enjoying Sunday or simply taking a break. Those reasons are the answer of "why?". If our attention is more on "why" than "what" than we get much closer to reach high quality in our experiences.


I believe that's why it's more meaningful to describe different modes of the phones with time that we defined.



Time is also valued when it is spent with loved ones.


Sync is a platform that functions as timekeeper and increases the quantity and quality of time spent together by two people.


Here is a video showing that experience;

Sync geolocates people and visualizes their movements through a unique interactive clock face. Each person has a color for their individual clock display. So that couple anticipates when they will be together.

When they get closer to each other, their individual clocks, also, gets closer to each other. The clocks only becomes single clock when the individuals fully sync with each other by spending time together.


Through a digital platform, Sync shows how much time they spend together each day, week, month and year


This is how final product would look; a screen made of e-ink is mounted to wall.


Sync has a potential of being used for more than 2 people for a family scenario.

Taking control of our time and reframing it isn’t enough. We have to slow time down and prioritize meaningful memorable life experiences.


Product Designer


New York / USA

All works © Adem Önalan 2015

Please do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of Adem Önalan.

This website is designed and created by Adem Önalan.


Core77 Design Awards, 2016

Student Notable, Furniture & Lighting (Project: Ounce)


Core77 Design Awards, 2015

Student Notable, Interaction Design (Project: Ditto)


Core77 Design Awards, 2015

Student Notable, Social Impact (Project: Spinute)


Republic of Turkey Ministry of Economy, 2014

Full Scholarship Recepient for Graduate School


IMMIB Industrial Design Contest 2014, Turkey

Professional-First Prize


TUBITAK Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award, Turkey

First Prize

TUBITAK : The Scientific and Technological Research

Council of Turkey


Asia Awards: The Student of Asia 2013, Japan



Red dot award: concept 2013, Singapore



International Design Excellence Awards  2013, USA



A' Design Award Winner 2013, Italy



IMMIB Industrial Design Contest 2013, Turkey

Student-First Prize


iF Concept Design Award 2012, Germany