Become an apprentice clockmaker

 illustration – artistic direction – mediation – information design – ludeo-participative conception consultancy

Become an apprentice clockmaker
It’s by doing that we learn


– Musée de l’horlogerie
et du décolletage de Cluses

– artistic direction
– illustration
– mediation
– information design
– ludéo-participative
conception consultancy


The Cluses watchmaking and bar turning museum asked us to create an educational trail for children within the museum’s collections. The goal: create seven fun-participatory modules to explain complex notions of clockmaking to children.

The goal is simple: learn by doing, becoming an apprentice clockmaker, and most importantly having fun!

How does a clockwork? What is a pendulum for? What is electromagnetism applied to clockmaking? What is engine weight? What is the exhaust for? And the gears? How can the sun tell the time? All these questions guide a new museum journey accessible to both the youngest and the oldest, but also people with disabilities.

For each concept, a module leaves a manipulation to explain the operation, and therefore, provides an answer. Creating an impulse, manipulating gears, winding a clock, tinting a metal bell: the gesture becomes meaningful.

These seven modules, made mainly in oak, are handmade in the Montreuil workshops of Okoni. Between milling machine (machining of oak, aluminum, and brass), laser cutting, 3D printing, UV printing on wood or plexiglass, everything is done and assembled in our studio.

Believing deeply in the democratization of knowledge through gesture, I was able to take part in this project as an artistic director, illustrator, graphic designer, and consultant in game-participatory design.

For this journey, I was able to create a simple and playful common thread: we must follow Charles Poncet, famous clockmaker of the city, who takes us from one concept to another, in the form of an illustrated character. The color chart is simple: 5 colors that alternate and mingle to differentiate the modules from one another, while keeping overall consistency. The textual indications are minimalist and take place on panels to be manipulated to discover a game of questions and answers. As for the handling of the module, it is simplified by a drawn-out manual that accompanies each experience.

Mechanical design and manufacturing: Paul Kucoyanis

Prototype and production: Rémi Chardonnet


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