Monday, November 28, 2011

Cabinet of Curiosities

For our final project for the semester, we were asked to design a "cabinet of curiosities" that would house 3 objects that the first years created...

Upon meeting with first years Tarek Baassiri, David Kendall, and Torrey Orlopp, I got a clear understanding of what function my cabinet needed to meet. Tarek had designed a CD holder, David designed an iPod, and Torrey designed a holder for a Led Zeppelin concert ticket; so it was clear to me that the cabinet should revolve around music, both functionally and aesthetically.  I knew I wanted my cabinet to have a speaker so it would function as a way to both play and store music, and David proposed an amazing lighting idea to include music-synching LED lights that would pulsate with whatever music is being played.  With these two ideas in mind, I explored different forms to house the objects.
When I began thinking about music-related forms, I came up with several ideas for a cabinet, which included a boombox, amps, a gramophone, and a jukebox. Although each of these cabinet ideas related to the three objects that would be stored inside, I believed that they were too literal and didn’t fit the exact style I was going for.  Going back to the drawing board, I kept the Led Zeppelin ticket holder in mind specifically as to give me a clue for the feel of the cabinet. I decided that a retro, late 1960’s inspired cabinet would fit the objects well and by researching furniture from this decade, I arrived at my final design.
I came across the final shape of my cabinet through a spur of the moment sketch in class after looking at retro furniture online. I wanted something that was funky and rock-inspired, and the tapered pyramid-like design of the cabinet entered my mind as an edgy, retro design. The cabinet includes a speaker at the base, held on angular, tapered legs, which would play music from the CD rack on the first shelf and from the iPod dock on the middle shelf.  Colored LEDs would be installed under the top panel of the cabinet and on top of the speaker. Glass shelves would allow the light to pass through the entire cabinet, creating its own light show whenever music is being played. The side panels and front cabinet doors would also be glass in order to showcase the objects inside. The bottom shelf holding the concert ticket would be the only section of the cabinet with doors, in order to preserve the condition of the ticket as well as signifying a place of display and importance. The door pulls on the cabinet were taken from a symbol on a Led Zeppelin album, which draw attention to an important object as well as add a fluid element to an otherwise linear cabinet. On the second shelf is an iPod dock built into the shelf which houses David’s iPod. This was placed on an open shelf at a height that would be easiest to access, because this would most likely be the most used object in this cabinet. On the top shelf is Tarek’s CD display, which is fixed onto a lazy susan spinning mechanism in the shelf that would allow the user ease of selecting a disc from any side of the polygonal rack.
I decided to use a dark gray-stained walnut in the cabinet to contribute to the dark, edgy feel of the design. Wood will only be used on the top and back panels of the cabinet and around the speaker in order to hide the electrical components and visually anchor the cabinet. I also chose walnut because of its pronounced grain, which adds a warm, less industrial feel to the cabinet. The door pulls would be molded from recycled aluminum and the glass panels would be held together using aluminum panel fasteners, which is both sustainable and has a modern appearance which complements the retro feel of the cabinet.
I would expect this cabinet to be used in a lounge, bar, or living room setting as a beautiful cabinet by day and party DJ by night. It functions as an entertainment center with a built in conversation piece and memorabilia display for a proud Led Zeppelin fan. This cabinet would allow users the freedom to easily access all of their music in one place, while having a unique lighting experience to accompany each song.  It is a rock and roll cabinet of curiosity! 

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