Timeless Design in Physics and Philosophy


People in this industry like the words “Timeless design,” right? Yes, our company also uses them for our products, but they sound a bit confusing to me because the definition of “time” is not completely settled in physics and philosophy. Today, I’m writing about timeless design from the view point of physics and philosophy. No worries but be careful. I’m not an expert in the fields, but just like to show myself smarter than what I actually am 🙂

Time flows at a constant rate — this concept (developed by Newton) was denied by Einstein a long time ago, and now in physics, the flow of time is expressed by the change in entropy. Please don’t have a rejection to “entropy.” It’s the magic word that makes you look smart. Let me explain with a famous example. There’s a set of playing cards ordered ace to king. If you shuffle, the entropy of the card set will increase. I personally understand it as un-uniformity.

Some physicists even claim the change in entropy is reversible: time doesn’t flow (timeless, in a sense). Philosophical explanation on this issue makes more impression on me, which says even entropy doesn’t exist. The reason why shuffled cards look un-uniform is only because our consciousness can’t perceive order (though there actually exists one). Based on this logic, timeless-design furniture could be summarized as one with low entropy where customers can easily find a specific pattern or rule. Unfortunately, this conclusion doesn’t make much sense even to me, but it’s interesting to consider timeless design from the view point of physics and philosophy, isn’t it? I just hope you can feel low-entropy vibe in the above image of our product somehow.


Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.

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