To coincide with the celebrations of swap shops in the surroundings areas of Mechelen it was apt for us to take part in a project that 'upcycled' previously unwanted items, giving them a complete redesign and creating an entirely new function.
My original piece was an old cassette player (which can be seen in it's original state at the beginning of the presentation video below). Originally I thought that I was going to be able to rip open the cassette player and use the internal parts to create something new and exciting, but on closer inspection there was not an awful lot of parts that I felt could be used to do this. Next I toyed with the idea of trying to fix the player so that it's original function would be made possible again and just like an iPod, create some sort of protective shell so that it could last another 30 years. Although this was a nice idea, the need for video cassette players is not very high - plus when taking a look inside again I fused it by unearthing the wire...whoops! Oh well they say things happen for a reason.
Whilst rummaging around the interior functions of the player I began looking at the mechanical elements and looked at the different ways in which I could try and use these in a design help people with everyday tasks, e.g. the counter mechanism, could it be used as a pedometer? What about an egg timer for the perfect eggs? Exercise counter...? The list was endless.
The slow, fluid movement of the opening mechanism of the cassette player was something that I decided to pursue and look at in more detail. Most people when I showed them the cassette player opened the tape deck and commented on the movement which I thought was quite interesting. Looking at lots of different designs in which this movement could be exploited I finally settled on the idea of a jewellery box in which only the most prized possessions could be kept. Although the area in which the jewellery was kept is limited and quite small, I felt that by altering the spring release for a wider opening, the 'compartment' where the jewellery would reside could have been made bigger but through previous experience from myself the smaller the jewellery box the better - too much space just means you try and cram in as much as you can!! The space within the tape deck provides adequate room for the most personal pieces of jewellery a person owns.
The presentation animation showing the whole process, start to finish.