Investigation III - Remembrance

tl;dr: Taking cues from The Final Cut, design a hybrid space for remembrance or memorialization that mixes digital and physical interactions to support a digital legacy.

Due: Tuesday, Apr 11, noon

Submit Documentation: Gallery Pool - Remembrance


  • Tues, Mar 21 - Assignment Given

  • Thur, Mar 23 - Warm up Exercise Due; Group Work

  • Tues, Mar 28 - Research / Discoveries Due

  • Thur, Mar 30 - Proposals and Background

  • Tues, Apr 11 - Crit/Review of outcomes 12.00 am (in-class)

  • Tues, Apr 11 @ midnight - Digital Documentation Due


Over the last two module’s we’ve explored memory and technology largely at a small scale and for the individual. Now, we’ll shift the frame in a couple of ways. We’ll think beyond the individual to shared scenarios around mediating memory through technology. We’ll move beyond objects and start to think about broader scenarios in the world. We’ll imagine smart and augmented spaces at the scale of buildings, outdoor areas, parks and neighborhoods. Finally, we’ll shift the timescale and be much more prospective than in the last few projects.

Specifically, we’ll explore remembrance and how an increasingly networked world presents new opportunities to memorialize individuals, groups, or happenings. We’ll consider our digital legacy - digital stuff we leave behind - meets the physical world.

How might existing places of remembrance (cementaries), celebration (monuments) or memorial (museums) might be augmented, extended or enhanced through our digital legacy?

We’ll start by exploring these sites and asking how we currently enode memory in real and virtual places. From there we’ll begin to question how these sites of remebrance might take on new significance, hold new value or be reimagined in a hybrid world. In these sites how might they blend the physical and the digital to give new opportunities to remember, celebrate or immortalize a life?

What does it mean to be remembered or celebrated in a world of networked memories? How does digital legacy intersect with the spaces that already exist to celebrate/remember?

Learning Objectives

This exercise is designed to give a broader and more speculative frame to our explorations to help you consider the societial, cultural and spatial significances of networked memory. It’ll help you begin to consider technology-supported memory as something that is situated in the world and that might integrate with many of the customs, practices and sites we have about remembrance today: As part of this exercise, you will:

  • Develop an understanding concepts in digital legacy, and the socio-cultural considerations around managing personal digital content in a generational context;

  • Investigate current sites for remembrance, celebration or memorial as a means to inform future possibilities for digitally enhanced spaces;

  • Speculate on how hybrid practices (blended physical digital space) might be used to enhance scenarios of remembrance;

  • Work collaboratively in an applied investigation to tease-out the broader considerations, issues and requirements in building memory-technologies (social, cultural, personal, biological implications etc.)

Warm Up

To help, kickstart this investigation, we’ll develop a shared understanding of current sites and spaces for collective remembrance, celebration or memorial.

First start by choosing a space that you’re interested in. It could be a cementaries, a named park bench, a statue, war monuments, a museum like the Warhol or a roadside remembrance.

Visit this site and:

  • document your personal experience of the space
  • briefly observe how other people interact and flow within the space
  • document the space itself by:
    • Photograph the landscape of the space, both from a broad view and up-close
    • Sketch a layout / floor plan of how the space is organized.
    • Cataloging / Describing the objects found within the site
    • Map their locations and placements
    • Observe who, when and how they are being interacted with

Reflect on any insights and considerations uncovered. Use your observations to speculate on opprtunities for digital content to enhance the space.

Write up and report to Slack by Thursday. Report your findings and speculations in class. We’ll review in class together.


By class on Thursday 28th, each group member should research contribute well documented 2 precedents to Slack. This could be an artistic work, theory on memory and forgetting, a research paper, a design reference, etc. You should:

Identify and report on two to three precedent projects on digital legacy, cultural memory, or hybrid spaces that inform your outcome

For example you could focus:

  • on just physical computing and responsive architecture and uncover examples of how the physical and digital have been blended
  • on finding examples other sites of shared remembrance that you feel will inform your group work
  • on finding ideas and theories in digital legacy to bolster your understanding or context for your project.

Add your documented example to the #discoveries as a new post on slack (see below). The discovery should include a link to the resource, it’s creators, and a short narrative (100-200 words explaining why someone else should pay attention to it)

By class on Tuesday, Mar 28 and completed individually (posted to Slack)

Note: Findings from each group should be synthesized into and reported as part of your final documentation.


Taking cues from ‘The Final Cut’, and the many speculative spaces where digital memories overlapped with physical space, you’re going to consider how to construct a hybrid responsive space that blends digital memories with the real sites.

Brief: design a hybrid space for shared remembrance or memorialization that mixes digital and physical interactions to support a digital legacy.

Drawing on your warm up exercise and the insights from current spaces, speculate on future possibiltiies for blended spaces. You are required to develop an initial proposal for your hybrid space that includes:

  • Site and context: A description of the site you have chosen for your investigation, a rationale for its selection and a description of the remembrance practices that it supports
  • Augmented Practices: Outline how you plan to augment practices in this space by introducing blended and responsive characteristics (sensors to understand behavior, reintroduction of digital content, etc.)
  • Rough sketches: Prepare sketches or other low fidelity content to illustrate your idea
  • Implementation: Articulate what you plan to implement as part of this project.

When formulating your proposal you begin to address the following questions:

  • How do we prepare for our legacy in a digital world?
  • Who mediates our memories after we’re gone? Who is the gatekeeper?
  • How do we recontextualize our histories?
  • What are the sites, spaces and practices for remembering those who are gone?
  • How do we celebrate cultural memories or significant individuals if we have their digital memories?


By the end of the project you should have delivered:

  • Deliverable I: A detailed conceptual design. This covers:

    • situating the design for the project (context, scenarios, cases, etc.),
    • the goals and rationale for the approach
    • articulating informed position that integrates theory of memory and forgetting, research in the area, and precedent projects
    • low-fi and high-fi design materials (mockups, concept videos, diagrams, experience maps, sketches, etc.)
  • Deliverable II: A scale model of the space and/or renderings.
    • You should create an interactive scale tangible model of the space using appropriate projection, embedded components,
    • or create a virtual model of the space which can be explored using VR/AR technologies.
    • etc.
  • Deliverable III: A network diagram displaying the interactions between physical and digital objects
    • Create a diagram that illustrates how sensing, responsive elements and other smart objects in the space are linked to digital content or data.
    • Annotate and describe the interactions for each component in the network diagram.
  • Deliverable IV: Prototypes of objects/devices for the space. If appriopriate you should create at least one full scale prototype of an element within the space to demonstrate the interaction with it. This should be of reasonable fidelity to give form your your proposal, but will reflect your skills with prototyping interactive systems. This could include:
  • Deliverable IV: A digital presentation of your design work (5 minutes maximum)
    • Prepare a digital presentation and take part in a crit.
    • Showcase/demo your prototype during this time
    • 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:

  • 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