Received an Award of Excellence at the 40th SDA (Japan Sign Design Association) Awards (2006)

Published coverage by design journalist Keiichiro Fujisaki.
1: Natural time, artificial time
2: Music for airports
3: Economics of the Earth Clock 

Sixty children’s clockface designs for Earth Clock
> Kids Concours

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Earth Clock

Kobe Airport, second floor departure lobby (Kobe, 2006)

A mammoth timepiece depicting Sun’s shadow as it appears in real time on a slowly rotating, three-dimensional rendition of Earth, projected every day from 6am to 11pm on the second floor departure lobby of Kobe Airport (opened 2006.2.16). Just about the time diners are finishing up lunch in the Kobe airport restaurant, Hawaii is falling into darkness.

The angles of the lines dividing light and darkness are accurate for that specific time and day. Nightfall inches closer; daybreak edges away.
“Natural time” – a reflection of the relationship between Sun and Earth – conveyed in an airport: a public space that runs strictly by “the clock”.

Filmed at Kobe Airport

For ten seconds every minute, the projection switches to a standard hour/minute clock face. Each of the 60 different faces, which appear over the course of an hour, is unique in design: color, form, motion, and sound playing maximally off the characteristics of digital media.


The clock faces and motion were designed and programmed by Senya Nemoto. The basic system, including the rotating Earth, developed by GK Tech.

GK Tech has been involved in developing our “touch globes” and that technical ingenuity lives on here. Nemoto is also responsible for the design of the Think the Earth Project mobile phone application “live earth“.

The idea of making the Earth a clock is also reflected in Think the Earth Project’s “wn-1” wristwatch. Soichi Ueda, who initiated this project, is an old friend and colleague of Living World. Yoshiaki Nishimura worked with Ueda in producing the Sensorium website.
Nemoto and Tariho Nishimura, on the other hand, were students together at art prep school. They also worked side by side as members of the AXIS design team, and there provided design support on wn-1 under Mitsuhiro Miyazaki’s art direction.
Thus, wn-1 and Earth Clock might best be described as siblings: wristwatch and wall clock.

Due to various circumstances, Earth Clock at Kobe Airport is frontally projected, and may tend to appear weak at certain times of day. We therefore urge anybody thinking of going to see it, to schedule an evening visit. The rooftop sushi shop is a bit expensive, but yummy!

See the Kobe Airport’s Earth Clock page

Producer: Eiichi Asai (A.A.P.)
Production: Kobe Airport Terminal co., Ltd.

Coordination: Kobe Fashion Organization
Participating companies (in alphabetical order): Crowne Plaza Kobe, Donq, Felissimo, Henri Charpentier, ism Group, Java Group, Kobe Leather Cloth, Kobe Okamoto Profile, Mitsuboshi Belting, Okuda Pearl Trading

Architectural supervision: Akira Kuryu
Architectural/building coordination: Akira Kuryu Architect & Associates (Hiroki Suzuki)
Projection engineering: Kiyomi Sato (S.C. Alliance Inc.)

Planning/direction: Yoshiaki Nishimura (Living World)
System engineering: Yoshifumi Kamenaga, Takahiro Shinkai (GK Tech)
Motion design and programming: Senya Nemoto
Sound design: Kimitaka Matsumae (Manual of errors)
Art/direction: Tariho Nishimura (Living World)

Interval animation: Yasuko Seki
Special thanks to Yoko Baba (A.A.P.)

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