Colloquium: 2018-11-06

Designing for Longevity – The 10,000 Year Clock

Alexander Rose

November 6, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. in the Pearl Young Theater


How do you build a monument scale astronomical machine that will last as long as civilization? For the last two decades, Alexander Rose and a team of engineers have been building this icon of long-term thinking with The Long Now Foundation funded by Jeff Bezos. Construction of the 10,000 Year Clock project is currently underway in West Texas, where they have used giant custom robots and explosives to excavate over 500 vertical feet through solid rock to house the Clock. Alexander will discuss the building of the Clock, as well as the research and design process that has reached from the arctic Seed Vault in Svalbard, nuclear waste repositories in Finland, and deep underground to the ultra-secret Mormon genealogical vaults.


Alexander Rose is the Director of The Long Now Foundation, where he has spent the last two decades as the project designer and manager for the 10,000 Year Clock. Alexander shares several design patents on the 10,000 Year Clock with Danny Hillis, the first prototype of which is in the Science Museum of London, and the monument scale version is now under construction in West Texas. Alexander’s combat robots have won over six world championship titles appearing in the hit TV show BattleBots. He is an advisor to the METI project.