Sabbatical Cabinet


Sabbatical or a sabbatical (from Latin sabbaticus, from Greek sabbatikos, from Hebrew shabbat, i.e., Sabbath, literally a “ceasing”) is a rest from work, or a hiatus…. The concept of sabbatical has a source in shmita, described several places in the Bible (Leviticus 25, for example, where there is a commandment to desist from working the fields in the seventh year). In the strict sense, therefore, sabbatical lasts a year. WIKIPEDIA

I am quite fortunate to have parents who live and work on a farm in central NSW. Second to this, I am happy that the farm in which they own is in a mobile reception dead spot. In addition, the old family PC is not only a dinosaur but also has internet that operates as fast as a sloth on a Sunday.

I relish the two or three times a year in which I venture north to visit my parents; to catch up, be well fed and get nostalgic for my childhood. While on the farm it does not evade my conscious mind how wonderful it is to be theoretically un-contactable, with only access to the internet, that in contrast is not really worth the wait.

Lacking these modern resources, which are quite common and could well be taken for granted in the modern city, I am subsequently subject to a true break from work and the mindless reach for my phone in which to entertain myself.

I came up with the concept for the sabbatical cabinet in hope to share this feeling that could be described as that of past era in which Facebook, internet, mobile phones, Twitter etc. were not yet as common as they are now. While the cabinet does not provide you with days or weeks without your devices, it does allow for an hour or two in which your attention can be focused on the moment that is right now and the surroundings that are your literal surroundings.


‘You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat’: Bright Ideas, Simply Put

Jaws (1975). Great movie and source of one of the all-time, top-five, classic movie quote from Roy Sceider. The understated emotion and puritan word choice are perfect as Scheider’s character calls on six small words to sum up the gravest of challenges facing the film’s three heroes.

In 2012 the Melbourne Fringe Furniture Exhibition focuses on the simple expression of challenging concepts. It will showcase the clarity of vision, economical practice and exemplary understatement which characterises great furniture design. The exhibition is all about the beauty of simplicity and the poetry of constraint.

With a cool head and a steady hand, this year’s Melbourne Fringe Furniture designers will use their artistic wit and creative cadence to sum up the challenges we face which only good design can solve.


Fringe Furniture 2012 – supported by RMIT
The Abbotsford Convent, 26 September – 13 October (Wed – Sun, 11am – 5pm)


In response to a modern lifestyle in which we are constantly connected to the Internet, social media and all other forms of digital communication, Mathew Little and Elliot Gorham developed the ‘Sabbatical Cabinet’ in hope to address the modern predicament of technology addiction. Whether that is constantly tweeting, checking your Facebook for updates or your email 30 times a day, there are many people who find it hard to go fifteen or more minutes without using their mobile phone for something.

“the feeling of getting a good text message or email on your phone is a little like the “hit” of ecstasy that a gambler gets when they hit. It’s the good feeling that causes some people to keep going – no matter how often they lose or how much spam they get and time they waste – until they get that good feeling again”. David Greenfield (Internet-related behaviors expert and a psychologist)

Very simply the ‘Sabbatical Cabinet’ is a small lockable cabinet in which to put your mobile phone, laptop, mouse, keyboard, tablet etc for a set period of time. The cabinet then acts as a secure separation from those objects by disallowing any access to those objects until the timer runs out. The uncompromising nature of the cabinet offers an uncompromising break from your devices, forcing upon you the time to catch up with family or a friend, read a book or just give yourself a break and relax. The cabinet can be set to a selective duration and can not be opened for that duration, In the event of an extreme emergency a mallet is provided to smash your way into the cabinet.

As 90%+ of the world’s population own mobile phones, the problem of balancing a healthy lifestyle is large and getting larger with every new gadget and gizmo. Our solution is as simple as locking it away.


Rock Maple: It is now recognised that while some carbon is released when a tree is harvested, carbon remains stored in the timber used in buildings and wood products.

Laminam: Laminam is a unique 3mm ceramic material with a weight of less than 8 kg per sqm made using the latest Italian ceramic technology. Suitable for both interior and exterior application. Laminam is a totally natural product. It does not release any substances into the environment and can be easily milled and recycled in other manufacturing processes.

Clockwork lock: The clockwork lock has been cobbled together use a restored clock mechanism and fabricated parts made from brass, steel and aluminum all materials are easily recycled. Through this means we are able to give a new life to a once discarded mechanical object.

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