2016 / NEW YORK





On the Elasticity

and Subjectivity

of Time

Slowing Time

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

We are stuck in the monotony of routines and experiences the feeling of shorter lives. We are not able to differentiate last December from last January and we don't remember how last 3 days have gone by. What have we done that's remotely interesting?

"Make sure you stretch your mental landscape by putting yourself in situations where you are learning something new. If you want to slow time down, seek novelty."


David Eagleman


Our brain doesn't process new memories as we age, things are no longer new to us. The reason that children experience the passage of time slower than us is because everything is novel to them.


Novo is a journal app that encourages and challenges you to bring novelty into your daily life.

At the end of each day, it asks you if your day was novel or not. You reflect on your experience in the app and a beautiful pattern, unique to that experience, is created by using an algorithm.

Your memory attaches your experience with the pattern and when you see it you recall your extraordinary day.


Nove creates a calendar of extraordinary experiences and you can see where you had a novel experience where you haven't.

Click for the Process

When moving forward Novo lead me to ask myself;


We are tracking the calories we burn, the steps we walk and the amount of time we sleep. How can we also track the quality of time that we spend?


ETKI is a quantified-self smart watch concept that reminds you of the moments that actually matter. ETKI encourages you to spend your time more thoughtfully as opposed to distracting you - which is what smartwatches and smartphones do today.

A Video Story of the Experience


ETKI challenges your memory to remember  the small, remarkable, daily experiences that otherwise fade from memory quickly.


ETKI doesn't capture any audio, video, or images. It only records the time and location of the event that occurred in order to provoke you to expend effort to recall your memories. It exercises your memory, thus strengthening it. With fewer clues, we understand what kind of events are the most important to us and take place in our memories so we can prioritize them.



By recalling your memories, ETKI makes you think about the quality of time spent in your daily life. It leads you to try to spend your next day more thoughtfully. ETKI pairs with an app that aggregates user data and allows you to compare your days to one another.

The physicality of the object is a reminder for you to question the quality of your time. And it is readily accessible, so it doesn't take you from the moment. It is not an app, because reaching out to your phone would change the moment.

The hope is that the gesture of capturing moment with ETKI has potential to be conditioned. Because we have a special relationship with our wrists especially when we express our memories. We already use our arms, wrists to celebrate remerkable moments by doing power poses.


When the gesture of ETKI becomes conditioned, the behaviour of capturing moments dissolve in the flow of the moment instead of distracting from it.

The body of the watch is concave; the space between your hand and object is for your memories.  It is the vessel of your memory.


The concave shape of the watch also matches the curve of your finger. The interaction with the watch was designed to be intuitive and pleasurable.

The design of the object could be executed in a more feasible and easy to produce way. However the objective of this thesis didn't include market and business considerations. At least, they weren't the priority. I was more interested to think critically about the space and the relationship with the objects and the humans. First experience comes in, then the technology helps for the execution. Not vice versa.

The watch strap is customized and only has one snap that fits perfectly to your wrist to emphasize that it is a personal object.

Click for the Process



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