Disco, punk & rap, according to Davide Tonizzo

Davide Tonizzo’s latest product collection, NY Sounds, was launched at the MACEF trade fair in Milan on Sept. 12. NY Sounds is a series of three clocks that tells the story of three great musical genres that came out of New York City.

The designer explains: “I love products that have narratives. This new collection is a dedication to three game-changing musical styles that came out of the Big Apple, disco, punk and rap.”

The products are manufactured in Italy by Progetti. This is the largest collection the Toronto-based designer has created for this organization during their collaboration of over 10 years.

Each clock uses different materials and metaphors to tell its story.

Hustle is the disco version named after the famous dance step of that era. Its shape is inspired by John Travolta’s iconic pose from the movie Saturday Night Fever. The clock is a one-piece, metal, abstract image of the dance move. It is faceted like a disco ball so as to catch different reflections.

Bowery is the collection’s ode to punk, named after the street where the legendary CBGB night club was located. The venue hosted many concerts by seminal bands such as the Ramones, Iggy Pop and the Stooges and Blondie. “Bowery is basically a biker jacket (the uniform de rigueur of the musicians) that tells time,” says Tonizzo. Bowery is a leather-covered disc with studs demarcating each numeral. Its pendulum is in the shape of an electric guitar.

Rap is celebrated by the NYC83 clock. Shaped like a subway car and decorated in graffiti, the timepiece pays homage to hip hop’s culture’s great graffiti writers that had their peak of fame in the early- to mid-’80s. They used the transit systems trains to get their art viewed by as many people as possible. “With NYC83, I wanted to use graffiti art to handle all the graphic design content both functional and decorative” says Tonizzo. The clock is “tagged” with various scripts. The numbers 3 and 7 are graffiti tags. Likewise, the “Made in Italy” and company logo are drawn in graffiti. The name NYC83 is a five character name similar in construction to the names of some of the graffiti writers.


Davide Tonizzo is a Toronto-based industrial designer with a diverse range of clients. Past projects include furniture, ceramics, handbags, bath wares and transportation products. His projects have received numerous awards and have been featured in international design publications. For more info, visit designd-online.com


Progetti is based in Carate Brianza, north of Milan. The company has produced high quality home and office accessories for many decades. Progetti products are sold worldwide and form part of the permanent design collection at MOMA.  For more info, visit progettishop.it