This is the Circadian Yardstick, part of a collection of instruments made by Tool/Toy Project in 2019 for the Oslo Architecture Triennale. The collection consists of a set of objects designed to slow down the daily domestic routine by encouraging regular playful interactions with the Sun in the home. The devices engage the senses, encouraging various ways to listen, touch, watch, meditate, navigate and dance with the sunshine and its effects.
The Yardstick is calibrated for use in Oslo, Norway. Summer (Spring Equinox – Autumn Equinox) readings are on one side and winter (Autumn Equinox – Spring Equinox) on the other. The lengths of the yellow bars indicate the range of shadow lengths between the Solstice and Equinox at approximately two-hour intervals throughout the day. The timings do not correspond to the regular 24-hour clock, instead encouraging users to take time to listen to their biological rhythms.
The Circadian Yardstick is made from oak, with the following printed measurements:
MELATONIN RELEASE STOPS & THE MORNING SUNLIGHT REINFORCES CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS. GLUCOSE TOLERANCE RISES FOR THE BEST TIME TO EAT FRUIT.
PEAK ALERTNESS AND LOGICAL REASONING MAKE THIS TIIE IDEAL TIME OF DAY fOR MEDITATING OR DOING A CROSSWORD.
FOLLICLES ARE STIMULATED, YOUR HAIR IS GROWING & BREATHE DEEPLY, YOUR LUNGS ARE AT THEIR STRONGEST.
PEAK SEROTONIN RELEASE & OPTIMUM COORDINATION FOR DANCING OR DRAWING.
FASTEST REACTION TIME FOR CARD GAMES & BALL GAMES.
YOUR SENSE Of TASTE & SMELL IS AT ITS BEST.
GLUCOSE TOLERANCE REDUCES AS MELATONIN RELEASE BEGINS. MINIMISE ARTIFICIAL LIGHT WITH A CANDLE. TO REST.
The gnomon is formed from a brass book screw, countersunk to sit flush with either surface and slide easily to be used on both sides. As well as borrowing from the visual language of rulers and measuring sticks, we also drew inspiration from the abacus, including a brass rod and yellow painted wooden bead to be used to indicate the length of the shadow being measured.
Tool/Toy Project is the shared practice of two Welsh designers, Rachel Jones-Jones and Maegan Icke, exploring speculative futures through themes of de-growth, play, domesticity, and the cosmos. Our output primarily occupies the point of interaction between the body and the wider world, often taking the form of tools, toys, activities, and devices that facilitate a leap of the imagination.