Investigation 1 - Creative Project

Objects of Memory

tl;dr: Develop a hybrid object (tangible, connected object) for memory; this critical prototype should embody, externalize or augment your memory through digital and computational processes.

Due: Thursday, Feb 7

Submit Documentation: Gallery Pool - Objects of Memory

The Memory Device. Ishac Bertran Featured on [Creative Applications](

The Memory Device. Ishac Bertran Featured on Creative Applications


Due Date Deliverable Details
Thursday, Jan 31 Proposal Create a proposal for your creative project (200 words + illustrations) and share on the Gallery
Tuesday, Feb 5 Project Develop a rough cut to discuss during desk crits
Thursday, Feb 7 Project Present your prototype in class.
Thursday, Feb 7, midnight Documentation Deliver documentation of your creative project

Deborah Aschheim's [ Neural Architecture](

Deborah Aschheim’s Neural Architecture

Brief and Goals

__Develop a hybrid object (tangible, connected object) for memory; this critical prototype should embody, externalize or augment your memory through digital and computational processes. __

The goal of this exercise is to self-experiment. Find an aspect of memory that you care about and design a tool for it. You might try to find a limitation of your memory and design a new digital device to overcome it. You might imagine a device that would allow you to preserve a cherished memory that you no longer have a record for. Or you might speculate on a device that could help you journal aspects of your day that are hard to capture with technology today, like your emotional memory. You could try and solve a problem for your future self for example if you suffered from a neurodegenerative disorder like Alzheimers. You could construct a data selfie and physicalize your memories from data points. You could imagine responsive structures to help you remind and reflect when it matters. You could envision a device to help you reconstruct your memories digitally from fragments online or to share and transmit your memories to someone you care about.

Develop at least one prototype that demonstrates your ideas for augmenting memory through ubiquitous, tangible or physical computing. The proposal should consider how data and digital information will be used to augment memory and how smart objects can be used to embed, encode or embody memory or experience.

The possibilities are wide and varied. But you should:

  • Make - i.e. test your ideas and give them a form.
  • Research - i.e. uncover theory, ideas, and precedent projects that inform your approach.
  • Gather - i.e. find inspirational resources from speculative designs, design fiction, science fiction, etc.
  • Experiment - e.g. don’t just prototype the device and interactions but simulate/construct the data it might produce or use;
  • Document - e.g. test your ideas on yourself or others, how do you or others experience and encounter the device, what are your reactions and responses, document how you respond to it, what values it offer, and why it might matter to you or others.

Unusual approaches, left-of-center thinking and impracticality is encouraged!

Note: Hardware, technologies and other resources can be requested.

Vannevar Bush's MEMEX imagined wearable cameras as an aid to total recall.

Vannevar Bush’s MEMEX imagined wearable cameras as an aid to total recall.

Learning Objectives

This exercise is designed to develop knowledge relating to memory and technology and help to develop a body of knowledge as to how memory can potentially be supported with new forms of ubiquitous and pervasive computing. As part of this exercise, you will:

  • Develop your domain understanding of distributed memory;

  • Investigate existing technologies which can, could and are being used to support/augment/enhance/change memory

  • Speculate on potential approaches to augmenting memory with smart objects from the practical to the outlandish (strongly encouraged);

  • Develop a hands-on exploration that begins to tease-out the broader considerations, issues and requirements in building memory-technologies (social, cultural, personal, implications etc.)

  • Work individually to explore your own skillsets, expertise, and perspective within the context of this course and understand how they might contribute to an interdisciplinary investigation by making work.

Constraints and Considerations


  • You must work with computational processes.
  • It must result in a physical/tangible thing.
  • You must work individually.


  • How do you create memories from sensors and images? How do you embody or encode a memory in an object?
  • How do you trigger memories with hardware? And what cues are effective or provocative?
  • How can you give form to your memories, histories and emotions?
  • How will technology help you cherish a memory?
  • What does data say about your life? And what does it reveal about you?


  • A physical prototype of tangible memory object. You can take any approach to preparing this tangible manifestation that you feel is appropriate. This should be of reasonable fidelity to give form your your proposal, but will reflect your skills with prototyping interactive systems. This could include:
  • A supporting conceptual design. This covers:
    • the goals and rationale for the approach;
    • low-fi and high-fi design materials (mockups, concept videos, diagrams, experience maps, sketches, etc.)
  • A documentation of your work and process
    • Prepare a demonstration of your tangible prototype
    • Take part in an in class review and critique of outcomes
    • Integrate feedback and prepare digitial documentation on the Gallery
    • Pose open questions and highlight challenges or failures encountered.

Final deliverables to be presented at the Crit/Review

Final Documentation Requirements:

Include a write up of the following:

  • Proposal/Conceptual Design: Describe your vision. What is the driving idea behind your design? What kind of solution are you trying to create and why? How does it enhance/augment/extend memory? What are your goals and motivations? How would it work in practice? etc

  • Prototype: Describe your experience/working prototype: What did you create, how, etc.? What tools and technologies were involved? Include appropriate content and illustration (e.g. a concept video, a video of the device in operation, diagrams, code, etc.)

  • Precedents: Describe theory, concepts, and research you have performed. Describe the prior work, ideas and projects that influenced your design. What work informed this idea.

  • Process: Describe how you arrived out the outcome. What iterations, refinements, design decisions and changes were made?

  • Open Questions and Challenges: What questions remain to be addressed or questions about memory did this exploration raise for you. What are the things we should pay attention to/discuss in class for future explorations?

  • Reflection: Reflect on making this project. What did you learn? What would you do differently? Did you get where you wanted to? If not, why not? What do you need to get there, etc?

  • Attribution and References: Reference any sources or materials used in the documentation or composition.

Each of these sections should be no more than 200 words max. and well illustrated (images, videos, etc.)

For the Project Info’s goal description: it must be tweetable - summarise your outcome in no more than 140 characters