Re-count by University of the Arts London

Re-count, is a sound archive and speculative educational tool that measures human lifetimes. Containing audio clips of memories lasting varying durations juxtaposed against an illuminated timeline, it demonstrates how emotions alter our individual experiences of time. Re-count harnesses true stories of love and grief gathered from people over interviews; In doing so, it also seeks to be an interface that highlights our shared connection as human beings and encourages greater understanding.

Re-count was created in response to a design conundrum : how do you design a clock for a machine?

Humans, unlike machines, experience the same duration of time subjectively; moments that feel important sometimes feel like they last forever. Elaborating on this initial fact led me to insight for the purpose of such a clock — as a hypothetical tool to teach a machine the importance of emotion to humanity.

The device interface abstractly depicts 3 human lifetimes from young to old through sound and light triggered by buttons.

Each initiates an audio experience of short sound clips representing significant events in one person’s life such as birth or marriage. LED bulbs on the device face gradually light up to follow the events as they play out.

The centerpiece of each track is an extended personal interview describing the individual’s most unforgettable memory that continues to influence their lives. During the recounting of the event, a larger part of the LED bar lights up in red visually representing its significance.

Acknowledging the nostalgic content of its archives, Re-count was designed around vintage radios and digital clocks. Engravings on the face of the product of a time scale in human years tell users what point of a person’s life they are currently experiencing.

The URL provided contains a documentary video demonstrating the work in use.