I remember the last walkman I ever had was a Sony Sports Walkman while the last cassette tape I recall playing on that walkman was the “One in a Million” album by the late, great Aaliyah. I remember the anticipation of waiting for the next song to play or the excitement that grew as I rewound my favorite track so that I could listen to it again (4-page letter was a favorite). And I remember sitting down by my tape player, surrounded by my favorite cassette tapes, and patiently trying to come up with my own mixtape.
Of course now, the mixtape has been replaced with what we call “the playlist” and hardly as romantic.
As an ode to the obsolete and nostalgic, architecture student Emmett McNamara of Edinburgh College of Art decided to create, nay, erect a structure using nothing but old cassette tapes. Using over 7,000 tapes he had collected from friends, charity shops, and tape dealers, Emmett thought he could not only explicitly showcase the importance of reusing old materials, he also wanted to elicit an emotional response by tapping into his own emotions. Aptly named “tape house”, Emmett shares in an article in Archdaily, “I wanted to build something that evoked emotional memory attachment in conjunction with the practical re use of an abundant waste material. Tapes have a special place in a lot of people’s hearts. I remember making mix tapes for girls I liked. The first album I bought was a tape. When someone sees a tape they perceive it in these terms. The associated cognitive imagery is part of a deeper emotional part of us.”
Perhaps in a few years, someone can erect the “iPod house.” For that I will gladly donate my personal (and still very usable) iPod Nano First Gen.