Unveiled at the announcement ceremony for the 2014 nominees, a 12-foot-tall digital clock tower designed and manufactured by Materials & Methods counted down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until Broadway’s biggest night—the Tony Awards.
Materials & Methods collaborated with Switzerland-based Audemars Piguet—one of the world’s oldest luxury-watch manufacturers and a longtime presenting sponsor of the Tony Awards—on the project. The structure for the clock tower was constructed from power-coated aluminum, with the Tony Awards logo, created with a water jet cutter, adorning the top. Audemars Piguet provided a large-scale version of a timepiece from its iconic Royal Oak collection, integrated into the upper portion of the tower. The lower portion, meanwhile, featured a configuration of Christie MicroTiles—high-resolution digital canvas—displaying the days, hours, minutes and seconds left until the award ceremony. Materials & Methods developed a simple program for the countdown animations, synchronized with an online virtual countdown clock. The animations were programmed in Flash and served on a Mac mini housed within the structure.
Activated for more than a month, the countdown clock was featured prominently in events leading up to the 68th annual Tony Awards. After debuting at the announcement ceremony with Lucy Liu and Jonathan Groff, at the Paramount Hotel in New York City on April 29, the clock was also present for the Meet the Nominees Press Reception on April 30 and the Nominee Luncheon on May 20. On June 8, the clock was featured on the red carpet for the Tony Awards, serving as a backdrop for photo opportunities with actors and musicians, and becoming a beacon for the ceremony held at Radio City Music Hall, hosted by Hugh Jackman and broadcast live on CBS.