Cassette tapes have become as useless as the spare change trapped underneath your car seat. The only difference is that the change, once found, is still usable. Cassettes are not. But can the two find a match in each other? Get ready to break out your old boom-box faves!
Like a lot of LA residents, I’m a west coast transplant. While catching up with old friends in my hometown, I came across a cassette tape a group of us girls had recorded during our teenage years. Don’t worry, I’m not streaming it here. In fact, we couldn’t even find a place to play it. I challenge you… look in your car, your friend’s car, your weird neighbor’s car — all you’ll find are CD players, iPod connectors and loose change.
So, if cassette players are on the endangered species list, where will all my ‘80s tapes end up?
Perhaps with Marcella Foschi of Italy, who was highlighted in this past Designboom competition held at the Tokyo Mart. Designboom hosts competitions where young design professionals showcase their latest products. Marcella’s modest stand featured neon colored retro wallets and change purses made out of old cassette tapes. Since every purse is custom made by hand from an original cassette, each design is one of a kind.
By the end of the day, Marcella’s stand was sold out. Her current designs are available at just under forty dollars on the Designboom website.
Though Marcella obviously can’t save every cassette on the planet, it’s nice to think her creativity may spur others to find alternate uses for our out-dated forms of music. And while I probably won’t be paying my bar tab with coins from my New Kids On the Block cassette wallet, I do appreciate a good place to keep spare change for parking meters.
As for Designboom, their latest competition (Love Your Earth 2007) is searching for graphic designers to submit artwork to help raise awareness on global issues affecting the planet. If only I’d saved my parents’ John Lennon 8-tracks…