Encouraging the designer to consider the sensibilities of past-centuries, Greyson’s mandate was one of both function and whimsy – incorporating the prosaic demands of a workstation with the historical precedent of the curiosity cabinet.
Closed, the cabinet appears as a minimalist cube – a solid and restrained form that belies its interactive quality. On closer inspection, however, this seemingly austere, utilitarian object appears to glow from within. As it opens and the front panel swings outward, the cabinet slowly discloses its contents, revealing its inner magic. Seventeen acrylic cubes, their fronts obscured and semi-opaque, rotate 360 degrees; vitrines open, drawers slide; a three level glass cylinder extends; the front frosted glass display case pulls outwards; and finally, from a hidden recess on top, a single cube waits to be discovered.
Opened, the cabinet’s luminous forms create an ethereal presence, their perfect proportions architectural as we envisage a modernist cityscape, glowing as if from the future.
Encouraging active participation by simultaneously revealing and concealing, the cabinet plays on discovery and the unexpected, tantalizing our imagination by making viewing a ritual and conscious act. One questions the nature and truth of not only the objects collected, but the very purpose and function of the cabinet itself. By engaging the viewer this way, Chou’s cabinet remains true to the original delight of collecting.