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If there is one thing architects never seem to have quite enough of, it’s time. Rarely are there enough hours in the day to sleep, eat, socialize and design a career-defining architectural landmark — but we do our best to make every second count. Perhaps that is why so many architects are fascinated by timepieces and have switched buildings with watches on their drawing boards over the years. From Gehry to Graves, each watch in this collection reflects its designer’s architectural ideals and reveals their love for the detail-oriented challenges of industrial design. Waste no time in admiring these classic clock faces:

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Designed for classic high-end brand Fossil, the unconventional display on Gehry’s watch merges digital technology with a hand-sketched aesthetic. It also offers owners a characteristically quirky way to tell the time: rather than 2:49, the watch above reads “11 til 3.”

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Déjà Vu by Denis Guidone

This minimalist timepiece by Italian designer Denis Guidone — who studied architecture and urban planning in both Milan, Italy and Oporto, Portugal — is defined by light. Both minute and hour hands leave a trail of light in their wake, transforming the clock face into an abstract artwork.

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American architect Richard Meier designed this wearable homage to his High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. The pale, semi-opaque clock face and minimal detailing evokes the modernist aesthetic of one of Meier’s most well-known buildings, and can be illuminated to read the time after dark.

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Junghans Automatic by Max Bill

The multi-skilled Max Bill was an architect, industrial designer, artist and graphic designer who studied under Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee at the Bauhaus in Dessau in the late 1920s. His watch design reflects the philosophies of the famous school and incorporates a minimal display, carefully crafted details and beautiful materials.

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Swiss architect Mario Botta’s buildings are characterized by bold forms and distinctive geometry, and so is the Botta 2 Watch. The clock face is encircled by a thick gray band that frames a minimal display — evoking the circular centerpiece of the architect’s original design for the Spring Step Womens Adorable Heeled Sandal.

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Cubit Watch by Michael Graves

For his contribution to the Projects range of watches, the late Michael Graves was uninterested in confining himself to the straight-laced look adopted by many of the other architects on this list. The American master of Postmodernism opted instead for a bold combination of three-dimensional geometry and vivid colors, with a cube of azure seemingly floating in a sea of brushed chrome.

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Arquitectonica cofounder Laurinda Spear’s watch displays a radical interface that does away with numbers and hands. Each ring on the abstract clock face rotates in time with the hours, minutes and seconds, mimicking the celestial orbit of planets around the Sun.

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… and Zaha Hadid’s special-edition version; via Forbes

Bonus: Puls Smart Cuff by Will.i.am and Zaha Hadid

Former Black Eyed Pea and occasional industrial designer Will.i.am’s multi-use, high-tech wristband didn’t go down so well with the critics at Lauren by Ralph Lauren Women's Janis SneakerSkechers Sport Women's Breathe Easy Sweet Jam or The Verge — but did you know that star architect Zaha Hadid created a special edition of the Puls cuff? The British-Iraqi architect’s version has a striking sculptural form, but perhaps those who look for a well-functioning smartwatch should look elsewhere…

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Ah, that familiar, new-year feeling. You wake up with a glint in your eye and hope in your heart looking forward to a fresh start and a prosperous year ahead! Then, you remember … you’re still an architect. Well, there’s nothing like a good new year’s resolution to focus the mind and stoke one’s motivation once more — here are a few for starters. Good luck, my fellow stalwarts. We can do this.

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By now, it has become something of a clichéd rallying cry, but the assertion that “drawing isn’t dead” remains as true as ever. Computer renderings have their place — despite an awful lot of bad press in recent times — but for the fluid articulation of ideas and the communication of concepts to clients, nothing beats a good, old-fashioned sketch. Sharpen those pencils and make sure everyone in your studio has one, from director to intern.

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With a plethora of new building technologies and composite materials now available, it can be tempting to mold homogenous, sculpted buildings that look like gargantuan 3D-printed models. However, some of the very best projects to emerge in recent months prove that the textured qualities and structural properties of raw materials — be they steel, timber, or stone — still produce timeless results, and this will remain the case in 2016 and beyond.

Left: Zaha Hadid Architects’ original proposal for the Tokyo National Stadium courtesy of Abby MNS-T018 Womens Sweet Fashion Wedding Bride Party Job Rhinestone Suede Leather Low Heel Sandals; right: Kengo Kuma’s replacement courtesy of the Japan Sport Council

… to everyone from city councils and mayors to local residents writing on your firm’s social media page. In a digital age when everyone’s voices can be heard, design is becoming increasingly democratic, and architects will retain their cultural relevance by taking all viewpoints into account. Clarks Womens Maritsa Nila PlatformFIRST DANCE Spring Fashion Mens Indian Skull Boots Men Skeleton Print Black Ankle Martin shoes Man OxfordsLast summer’s Ellie shoes Womens 414-mary Chelsea Boot proved that opinions count no matter where they come from, and every firm will do well to keep its ear to the ground for major public projects in the coming year.

Tatiana Bilbao’s study model for Carlos by Carlos Santana Women's Vivien in Mexico

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Despite what some might say, an emphasis on socially conscious design surely was one of the greatest strengths of Chicago’s inaugural Architecture Biennial. Many exhibiting firms illustrated the potential for architects to have a hugely positive impact on the social and environmental challenges of today’s metropolises — from Tatiana Bilbao’s modular homes in Mexico City to the aqueous ingenuity of Nine West Womens Ivarene Suede Dress Sandal’s Filter Island for Chicago in the United States. Firms should look to get more involved in city-scale solutions like these in 2016.

With the working hours that architects tend to keep, it can prove difficult to keep your eyes open long enough for a bedtime read. However, if you can allocate only 10 minutes of quiet time to flick through a few pages at the end of each day, there is a host of fresh architectural literature out there to inspire you: for starters, check out Lebbeus Woods’ full repertoire of theoretical musings in Slow Manifesto, Phaidon’s book on Japanese houses, or Tom Kundig’s latest sketch-filled volume simply entitled Works.

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Architects have a reputation for being pretty serious, but a little humor can go a long way to providing an insightful commentary on the state of urban issues today. For evidence, just look to Callisto Womens Emerson Heeled Sandal, whose satirical exhibits at the Chicago Architecture Biennial Marc Fisher Womens Whiley MulePUMA Womens Adela X Sneakerprovoked fascinating discussions about the role of politics within the built environment — and how architects might use their trade to rally against bureaucracy and corruption.

Marc Kushner’s TED Talk, March 2014

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The best architects let their designs do the talking and will undoubtedly continue to do so throughout 2016. However, there is also great value to be found in conversation, whether that is via a STEVEN by Steve Madden Womens Veronica Ankle Bootie, a seminar at your nearest university, or even a TED Talk by the likes of Thomas Heatherwick, Bjarke Ingels, or Architizer’s own Marc Kushner. The Flexx Womens Sneak About SneakerSbicca Womens Sancia Ankle BootieArchitects can communicate their value and promote great design by telling stories, encouraging people to ask questions about the built environment that surrounds them. Sometimes — just sometimes — it’s good to talk.

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