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Killing Time, by Roel van de Ven

A different way of visualizing one's smoking habit

October 24, 2012

[This is a guest post by Roel van de Ven, a multidisciplinary graphic designer from Breda, The Netherlands, with a love for typography, craft and minimalism. he was kind enough to send us a brief explanation about his personal project, Killing Time. Check out more of his work at Cargo Collective]

This is a rather personal project I did even though the story applies to a whole lot more people that smoke cigarettes, like myself. We all know smoking cigarettes is addictive. Not only because of the nicotine it holds, I believe, but also because the act itself is addictive. Call it an habit if you will.

That habit results in the fact that a fair amount of the cigarettes I smoke each day aren’t because of the physical addiction to the nicotine or for the reason that I like the taste of them, but merely to keep myself occupied for a moment. Just to kill some time, when I’m waiting for a bus for example.

Based on this, I wanted to visualize the link between cigarettes and time. For me, the average time spent to finish one cigarette is 5 minutes and 54 seconds. Sometimes a bit more or less of course, but hardly ever it differs much. It’s like a set unit of time. For instance, I have occasionally explained to people that I live at 1 cigarette-walking-distance from the central station.

Given this unit of time, a total of 244 cigarettes can be smoked every day. Which is also the amount of cigarettes my own clock (or ‘smoking-schedule’) of Thursday, October 14th, 2010 consists of. The cigarettes that are put out are the ones I’ve had that day, which starts (0:00 AM) in the top left corner of the room.

(image: Roel van de Ven)
(image: Roel van de Ven)


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Written by Tiago Veloso

Tiago Veloso is the founder and editor of Visualoop and Visualoop Brasil . He is Portuguese, currently based in Bonito, Brazil.