Digital Memories

How do we handle our digital keepsakes?
Personal | 2020
Solo project
Here’s the story: sometimes, we aren’t ready to part with something, but we don’t want to keep it around, either.  Those things have memories attached to them: some positive, some negative. Some items we keep in special boxes, or pieces of jewelry, or frames, and pull out every so often to reminisce. Some we are most content to let collect dust in a closet, labeled in a cardboard box. These days, more and more of these items are digital. My question — what do we do with those?

Developing the Concept

Considering the wide range in emotions towards items we keep, and what we do with them (some are painful, but we keep them; some are painful, so we slowly throw them away) it felt important to create something that would provide people with the ability to use their digital memories however feels best. Initial ideas were sketches for options geared toward either being treasured or being destroyed for catharsis (see right), but those felt limiting to a specific situation. Instead, by using settings to give options, people can use their memories different. They can save their images in the cloud and have them appear in milestone reminders and be shared with friends or family, or they can disable their own access to items until they’re able to heal and view them. This allows all users to follow the same path through setup, but several different paths to view (see below).
Sketches + diagrams
Physical sketches

The Object

The final object is a simple artifact that can be carried, worn, or stored with other precious keepsakes. When closed, the form has a concavity that makes it easy to be held and played with, and a small bar lets the form be latched or hung on a chain if it’s owner wants to wear it.

The object also serves as the vehicle to store photos and access the app. When held near the user’s device, the object can connect via bluetooth to transfer items for storage. From the app, people can designate which items they want stored on their object, which they wish to view or be reminded of on their phone, and if they so desire, wipe their object clean.

The Interface