Memory Stücks by Beta Tank



DMY Berlin 09: Memory Stücks is a project by Berlin- and London-based design studio Beta Tank that was exhibited at the DMY Allstars exhibition in Berlin earlier this month.


Memory Stücks is a collection of objects including a chair, iron, table and typewriter that have been implanted with USB sticks.


These USB's contain words, images, film and animation associated with the object and what has happened to it in the past.

The information below is from Beta Tank:


Memory Stücks
Physical and digital collide

Memory Stücks are a limited edition of memory pieces which bond the tangible physical with the ephemeral digital. Used everyday things like tables, shirts, rocks and a chair have been equipped with USB sticks which carry their digital memories in words, images, film and animation. The objects are given a voice and imagery from the USB sticks.


Our thinking on Memory Stücks comes from an ongoing interest in the tangible world and how it relates to the digital, ephemeral, imaginative. Memory Stücks are the poetic take on intelligent objects; objects which carry their own information with them.


We once spoke to Doron Swade, former Senior Curator of Computing at the Science Museum in London about the ‘aura of the original’. Why we are obsessed with the original object and invest large amounts of money in proving and preserving the original. The original carries an invisible aura, which we nurture in a romantic and nostalgic way and which, in a monetary way, turns an object into a rare commodity. A wonderful fascination lies in the old and original because it is tangible proof of the faded past which we use to define us as human beings.


A more futuristic take on this subject is Bruce Sterling’s world of Spimes. In 2004, he gave his speech When Blobjects Rule the Earth at Siggraph in Los Angeles, saying “Having conquered the world made of bits, you need to reform the world made of atoms. Not the simulated image on the screen, but corporeal, physical reality. Not meshes and splines, but big hefty skull-crackingly solid things that you can pick up and throw. That’s the world that needs conquering. Because that world can’t manage on its own. It is not sustainable, it has no future, and it needs one. It is going to get one from you.” and "The next stage is an object that does not exist yet. It needs a noun, so that we can think about it. We can call it a “Spime, [...] The most important thing to know about Spimes is that they are precisely located in space and time. They have histories. They are recorded, tracked, inventoried, and always associated with a story. Spimes have identities, they are protagonists of a documented process. They are searchable, like Google. You can think of Spimes as being auto-Googling objects.”


The aura of the original is invisible – if not entirely imagined (attempts of making it tangible obviously are made in form of certificates, seals, documentation, etc). The identities of Spimes will be also invisible to the eye, embedded in the material of the objects on nano-levels, translated and read into the digital world.


Memory Stücks will be the dinosaurs of the species of Spimes, from a time where we could still get away with drilling into objects with brute force and implanting clunky memory sticks and thus letting everyone see with their naked eyes that there are two worlds colliding.

More about Beta Tank on Dezeen:



Eye Candy


Mind Chair 2


Mind Chair 1

Posted on Saturday June 20th 2009 at 12:01 am by Ali Morris. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Gilbert

    I would not wanna own such a thumbdrive. haha
    Its creative though, but it is mere installation art kinda stuff

  • is designer only a storiteller?
    is this an original story ?

  • When i wrote on a precedent comment “there is not clear frontier between art and design”, i follow a master in design management Alberto Alessi : ” design is border line” ….but the main problem for designers , manufacturers and people is,the border invisible and change with crises ( 6 crises in world, 12 crises for design)

  • Christopher Lien

    no, that is just desperate, design should have some basic functionality, not pure “wannabeedesigner”

  • ion

    although it’s totally unpractical it is very funny :))

  • RD

    if this is design ,what is not design ? you could stick many things in many ways ,everywhere.

  • the fist produt is in stone age trend

  • exit stage right

    this is geeeeniuuuuussssss! a new way of thinking. definately. just wowed. like poetry! once again d d d da zeeen is on top of things.

  • exit stage right

    i was being sarcasticular

  • Ali

    Sarcasticulated, sarcastulous, sarcastified.

  • JP

    …I am struggling to say anything constructive

  • jur

    …. Readymades… almost 100 years too late

  • charlie chan


  • BC

    But where is the washing machine?!

  • DB

    You have got to kidding this is really, really bad stuff. It is not even clever.

  • enter

    agree with DB. it’s to the point of it being embarrassing. at the very least the memory sticks should have been as annonymous as possible. it’s fickle yes, but the memory sticks have the branding still on them. this is quite weak

  • Xit

    Due to the over sensitive Dezeen comments censoring I can’t seem to express myself on this one.

  • is this an art website? or a design website.. I think the difference between those two is functionality. You have to be kidding me though. ANd I’m not sure I find this clever anyway.. :( maybe next time

  • rek

    It’s interesting, but not practical, and that’s what makes it art instead of design.

    I don’t know why people are getting their panties in a twist about it though, there’s no harm showing it here.

  • YOU REMEMBER him (Memory Stücks by Beta Tank ), it’s a conversation starter so Ali Morris select him for comments

  • …more surprise in portfolio ,good name, it’s a pair , good for Europe

  • Yo Zuy man, are you drunk? I have a vision of you drunk in your room, naked, posting dezeen comments in the middle of the night.