The concept for the book cover was based on one of the chapters that tells the story about a world in which exists two times - a mechanical one and a biological one. Therefore, the initial idea was to let the pocket watch from the 1900s setting represents the mechanical time, and the item without its hand would be the biological time.
But I wanted to avoid presenting time as a clock, so I tried to develop other ideas. Another chapter tells about a world where "at every point of decision, [...], the world splits into three worlds, each with the same people but with different fates for those people. In time, there are an infinity of worlds." (Lightman, A. 1992). I decided to use tree twigs to represent this idea, as time passes, branches split and spread into numerous leaves.
I found a way to combine these two ideas, making use of the resemblance between angles of the branches and the angle created by the hands of a clock. It was a greeting card design by Yoshie Watanabe (Figure 1), which "uses the transparency of the glassine window of the envelope to interact with the card inside” (Williams, N. 2005)
The visual outcome isn’t simply a combination of two different concepts, but turned out to loosely wrap around the book. It can be seen as a comparison between an organic object and an artificial one, or as the notion of time through the growth of trees, or regarded as separate imageries. I decided to keep things ambiguous for readers - either those who have, or haven’t read the book, to make their own interpretations, as one once said that a story only begins to live when the author ends it.
But as I see it, Einstein’s Dream is a book that portrays time with life as its medium, and vice versa.