Art Installations Product design


Sunmoon is a clock design that combines function and beauty by using color, shape, and motion to create a personalized and emotional experience of time.


Jiaxin Huang


Sharon De La Cruz


Time is functional, natural, and endlessly nuanced.  Sunmoon is my exploration and expression of the emotional dimensions of time, inspired by my daily conversations with my mother who lives in Shenzhen while I study in New York.  Our routine of exchanging photos of the sky to determine the time evokes feelings of nostalgia, longing, and connection.  With Sunmoon, I seek to capture and preserve these emotions by creating an artistic representation of the interplay between time and color, using moving balls that display the time in various cities around the world, each representing a precious memory. The four cities I've chose for my version of Sunmoon include New York (the city I'm living now), Shenzhen (my hometown), Barcelona (the most beautiful city I've ever been to) and Los Angeles (where I've seen the most beautiful sunset so far). Sunmoon is not only a functional timepiece but a work of art that reflects my personal connection to time and color.  Its minimalist design and the smooth, precise movements of the balls create a visually striking and mesmerizing experience.  The use of color and shape, combined with the subtle motion of the balls, transforms time into a dynamic and expressive art form. Through Sunmoon, I hope to inspire others to explore their own emotional connections to time and to create a personalized and meaningful experience of time.  With its customizable city selection and unique color options, Sunmoon allows anyone to create a clock that reflects their own personal memories and emotions.  Whether it's a city where you grew up, a place where you fell in love, or a favorite city you've been to, Sunmoon can become a tangible expression of your connection to time and the world around you. In a world where time is often seen as a constraint or a commodity, Sunmoon offers a new perspective and a chance to slow down and appreciate the beauty and emotional depth of time.



Colors are often associated with specific times of day, such as warm colors like yellow, orange, and red in the morning, and cooler colors like blue and purple in the evening. These associations can be observed in nature, where sunrises are typically characterized by warm hues while sunsets are marked by cooler shades. Sunmoon conducted a survey to explore the relationship between color and time further, investigating people's color associations with different times of day. The results of the survey indicate that people's feelings towards colors transition throughout the day, with a shift from deep blue at night to soft yellow in the morning, progressing towards orangish-red during noon, light purple in the late afternoon, and returning to deep blue at night. These findings have helped me to better map the color transitions of the lights and create a more accurate representation of the emotional dimensions of time through Sunmoon's work. The linear movement of the light balls is inspired by the natural process of sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset, where the changing positions of the sun and moon shape the colors of the sky and tell the time.

Technical Details

Sunmoon utilizes a DS3231 RTC module, in conjunction with four 5x5 WS2812 LED matrices and four NEMA 17 stepper motors controlled by four TMC 2209 motor drivers separately. The Arduino platform is employed to relay hourly time data for various cities, which is then used to map the positions of the motors and determine the corresponding LED colors.  The motor rotates clockwise from the bottom at midnight to the top at noon, and then rotates counterclockwise back to midnight, completing one cycle of the Sunmoon. The first Sunmoon board features a central controller with six motor driver and LED ports, which can be customized by adding or removing ports as desired.