In our current digital age, there isn’t much practical use for magnetic tape. But the nostalgia associated with the old-school data storage tech remains strong, which is part of the reason why Swedish artist and craftsman Love Hultén based his latest project on a 1960s magnetic tape unit.
Love Hultén’s MTC 2401 is a storage cabinet that was directly inspired by the IBM 2401 Magnetic Tape Unit, a design icon that was produced by the computer company from 1964 to 1979 to work with the IBM System/360. The MTC 2401 looks a lot like the IBM original, with one key difference: It’s not a functioning magnetic tape unit. Its tape mechanism is purely decorative, but it does spin, light up, and make noises when you press the various buttons on the top control module. The MTC 2401’s ostensible purpose is as a storage unit, with two large areas to hold records, books, or — ideally — your collection of magnetic tape rolls. But the main draw to the unit is clearly the retro design, as this piece would make a stunning conversation piece in any room in which it found itself.