Commonplace Studio

Curiosity Cabinet

Curiosity Cabinet
Commonplace Studio (Netherlands)
Interactive installation

Curiosity Cabinet is a wooden cabinet that intersperses sixteen drawers for physical objects, and sixteen boxes with embedded memory and RFID tags for saving and presenting digital information. To view the digital content, visitors are encouraged to place a digital box near the computer. In this piece, the designers have appropriated the historical curiosity cabinet of the sixteenth century, in which peculiar objects of nature and art were placed and displayed as an indicator of the owner’s world view. Stam and de Bakker have transformed this piece of antique furniture into a contemporary commodity, on which they comment: “Since today we are no longer concerned with the dichotomy of nature and art, but with the duality of the material and the virtual, these cabinets bring together both physical and digital space in one archival system.”