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The Corpus Chronophage at dusk

When you’re in your seventies, you realise that time is limited, time is not on your side, and it’s slightly scary.

Speaking about the approaching winter solstice on Sunday December 21, Dr John C Taylor OBE, inventor and creator of the famous Corpus Chronophage, has said that ‘it is a sobering reminder that time is not on your side’.

In terms of astronomy the winter solstice is, in the northern hemisphere, the moment at which the sun is furthest south. For ancient people, such as the builders of Stonehenge, the winter solstice was a very important day, as it marked the point at which the days would become longer.

The inevitability of time was one of the driving themes behind the creation of the Chronophage, a large and iconic clock that is embedded in the wall of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

It features a formidable grasshopper which slams its jaws shut at the end of each minute, representing the fact that it is gone forever. The word ‘Chronophage’ means ‘time-eater’ in Ancient Greek.

Dr Taylor, who lives in a house that he designed himself on the Isle of Man, said, “When you’re in your seventies, you realise that time is limited, time is not on your side, and it’s slightly scary.

“Everyone’s experience of time is unique and personal. The clock speeds up, slows down and even stops, which is representative of the way in which time is not always constant.”

Although the clock is irregular, it shows the correct time once every five minutes.

Dr Taylor also recently designed the Dragon Chronophage, which features a Chinese dragon and will be exhibited in China at the Design Shanghai event from March 27-30 2015. The dragon itself is an Anglo-Chinese creation, having been designed in tandem with Professor Long of Hangzhou Art University.

Author Tom Evans, who has written a number of books on creativity and the nature of thought, said, “The Corpus Chronophage is a brilliant representation of something that we all know – that time can speed up and slow down depending on what we are doing.

“Through my own experience with meditative techniques, I have found that a person can control, to a certain extent, the rate at which time passes.

Tom, who has been described as a ‘Temporal Alchemist’ and a wizard of light bulb moments by his clients, has begun a new movement called ‘Living Timefully'.

Living Timefully is time management with mindfulness at its core. Tom has developed a self-study course and a number of practical workshops where people learn how to bend and stretch time. The Living Timefully self-study course is also available free of charge to people with life-threatening illnesses.

A video of the Corpus Chronophage can be found here:

A video of De Taylor speaking about the Chronophage can be found here:


About Dr John C Taylor OBE

Dr John C Taylor OBE was born in Buxton in Derbyshire in 1936. Having spent six years living in Canada during his childhood, he returned home towards the end of the Second World War and attended King William School on the Isle of Man before studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge University.

After finishing his education he took a job at Otter Controls, founded by his father, and began working in bi-metal. His work with these controls led to Dr Taylor designing the thermostat systems that are used in almost two billion kettles and small household appliances.

China has always been special to Dr Taylor, who first visited Hong Kong on business in the 1960s and set up a factory in Guangzhou in Guangdong Province in the 1980s. As one of the world’s leading inventors, he appreciated the enthusiasm for design that it seems is part of the Chinese DNA.

Dr Taylor has also conducted a lot of research in the subject of horology. His admiration of John Harrison, an early pioneer of clocks and time-keeping, led him to design and help build the Corpus Chronophage, a three metre-high clock that lives on the exterior of the Corpus Christi College building at Cambridge University.

In his spare time, Dr Taylor also has a keen interest in aviation, having been a private pilot for over sixty years. Taught by his father as a child, he has so far amassed over 5,000 hours of flying time.

Dr Taylor is on Twitter at

About Tom Evans

‘A modern day mystic, a healer, a 21st century philosopher, a temporal alchemist and the wizard of light bulb moments’. These are just some of the many ways in which Guildfordian author Tom Evans has been described throughout his eclectic career.

In his mid-40s, he discovered meditation and began to write books on a number of subjects including self-help and personal development, philosophical futurology and metaphysical exploration. Over his career, he has written ten books and is a successful full-time author.

Tom is on line at and on Twitter at

About the Winter Solstice

Winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon which marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

It is a time of significance for a number of cultures, as ancient people used astronomic events as a calendar.

Notes to Editors

Design Shanghai

Dates: 27-30 March 2015
Venue: Shanghai Exhibition Centre
Address: 1000 Yan’an Mid Road, Jing’an District, Shanghai, 200040

Design Shanghai is China’s leading international design event. In 2014, Design Shanghai opened its doors to over 47,000 visitors, breaking new ground and setting a precedent in China’s ever-growing design community.

Showcasing the best design brands from across the globe, Design Shanghai provides a unique and exciting platform to network and establish long-term business relations with China’s top architects, interior designers, property developers, facilities managers, private buyers and anyone with passion for exciting, new and inspiring designs.
2015 will see the return of China’s premier design event, featuring even more of the finest international design houses, inspiring speakers and curated features.

Twitter: @designshanghai
Weibo: DesignShanghai
WeChat: designshanghai


Founded ten years ago Media 10 Limited is the most decorated media and events company in the UK.

Media 10 Ltd has fast become one of the leading players in the media and events industry as a result of running some of the most iconic and successful magazines and events in the country, including Grand Designs magazine, Icon magazine, Grand Designs Live and the world’s oldest consumer exhibition: The Ideal Home Show.

Other events in Media 10’s portfolio include 100% Design, 100% Optical, Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model Live, Clerkenwell Design Week, The London Design Trail, Grand Designs Awards, Icon Awards, Destination Star Trek and Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace.

As a privately-owned company based in Loughton, Essex, Media 10 employs over 200 talented people to run a growing portfolio of 17 live events, 21 websites and seven magazines.

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