Time Stands Still with Harc’s Switch Plate

My experience with switchplates is likely the same as the next guy: the frustration of poor screw depth and easy breakage coupled with the sad realization that they only enter the mind as an additional impediment to painting. Leave it to the feminine sensibility for potential enlightenment–as I suggested in my look at Kravet textiles, my wife continually shows me that “God is in the Details,” or in the brushed antiqued decorative brass switchplate, as the case may be.

Time Switch. Designed by Ryan Harc.

The idea of the enhanced switchplate goes square in the category of leave no stone unturned, or—in more precise parlance—leave no architectural feature underutilized. The crew at Keep It Cartesian certainly understands this. Their collection of handsome switchplates does triple duty as key holders, cord receptacles, and mail caddies, but, beyond that, suggests a whole new direction for this typically mundane rectangle of plastic. Designer Ryan Harc follows said trajectory with his intriguing Time Switch. Masquerading as a typical switchplate, the appliance houses a digital clock (perhaps I should say “is a digital clock”) that illumines only when the light is switched on. Harc characterizes Time Switch as a conceptual piece that plays with our preoccupation with hours and minutes: “whenever I screw up and the deadline ties me up, I always think, ‘I wanna stop the time.’ Of course I know nobody can do that. But instead of stopping the time, at least I might forget about it.”


There’s certainly a tinge of illusory power to Harc’s piece. The dual gesture of extinguishing the light while “turning off” the time achieves a semblance of the solitude we all occasionally desire, no matter if it’s purely imaginative and short-lived, since even a temporary respite from daily stressors and demands can have a rejuvenative effect. And further, the functionality quotient of Time Switch is actually quite high: it saves wall space, eliminates the need for yet another set of batteries or additional electrical outlet, and synthesizes two acts into one. If the symbolic gesture of stopping time also helps us step out of ourselves for a minute or two, so much the better

via PSFK

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