Forget Booth

Made by zislamha, Michael James and Daragh Byrne

The Forget Booth is a tool that will be used in the future to aid in the forgetting of embarrassing, humiliating, or degrading memories. It will be integrated into society, such as in parks, and will require people to divulge the moment to another individual in return for the moment being destroyed digitally on all platforms and sources permanently.

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Conceptual Design

Our idea was to create an object that would help in the digital erasing of memories associated with embarrassment, humiliation, or degradation. The principle of the design would be in the future when all memories are digitally stored on the cloud, and with this influx in information comes a wanting for some of it to be erased. This is where the Forget Booth would come in, which would enable people to have those memories erased from the cloud and all sources, yet another person would have to be in the booth and be given details/shown the memory to carry with them. The project was very conceptual and experiential, invoking senses associated with confession, meditation, deep thinking, and empathy with the other person in the booth. It is a poetic project, with the idea of you getting your memory erased but then being given the duty of carrying on someone else’s.

Precedents

For this project, we were heavily inspired by the idea of Confessions in churches, and the feeling one has within one of them, the mood, the atmosphere, and the ritual itself of one trying to purge themselves of their sins. We also looked at data to see what kind of memories people are keener to want to forget, which led us to the focus on humiliation/embarrassment. We also studied the size/role of common commodities in society such as phone booths to try to understand what type of role/prominence our idea has.

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Forget Me Box Documentation
Michael James - https://youtu.be/bYuq2TwqG_o
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Prototype

For our working prototype, we wanted to take a stab at people experiencing what being in the Forget Booth would actually be like. Using panels and some wood, we created the base skeleton frame of the booth, and then lasercut chipboard to prototype a screen that could dually be used to project upon but also get glimpse into who is on the other side of the booth, similar to confession in churches. We also hooked up projects, speakers, and microphones to create the experience of being able to view the memory and communicate with the computer in charge of conducting the ritual while in the booth.

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Process

To design the booth, the most important thing that we studied was the process/ritual that we wanted to study. So first looking at things such as how to get people to enter and where they may be entering from (a public, private, or other space), and also how for the ritual to occur. We decided on the person kneeling to invoke the sense of calm, recollection, and repentance that we studied earlier, and then started sizing the booth based on the dimensions and proportions of someone kneeling. We also iterated on what the booth/computer would be saying to move the ritual along and to make it intimate and realistic to what people would be accustomed to once the project is implemented in the future. We also iterated on the design of the screen to see how much we wanted the other to be visible to a person and how much space would work to be projected on to.

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Open Questions & Challenges

There are many questions and things to keep in the mind for the future. For example, how can the process be more integrated/streamlined? Are all the parts of the ritual in the box needed? Also, we did attempt to tackle the integration of the box into the urban fabric but an important part would be how does this really fit in? How do you entice people to really enter? Other things to potentially keep in mind is the forgetting that would be occurring- Although the memory is now digitally gone, how does It start to impact the person once deleted? Is the memory really gone? And since one individual remembers, are there actions kept monitored? What if they release the memory verbally?

Reflection

The project was very interesting to undergo, and perceptions of it changed a lot once actually conducting it with the prototype and seeing how people felt and acted with the atmosphere created. One can usually imagine being in the space/experience, but it was very different once it was prototyped 1:1. In terms of fabrication, our group felt that it could be more refined/closer for a future prototype (in order to really see what being in such a box would be like). However, we still feel that the prototype very much helped in getting the experience across. It was also surprising to learn what people would like to forget in their memory, the feelings associated with those moments, and also how people feel/value the act of forgetting.

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49-806 Responsive Mobile Environments

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This 15-week course will introduce students to responsive mobile environments and encourages them to explores speculative terrains that intersect art, technology and design and space.


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The Forget Booth is a tool that will be used in the future to aid in the forgetting of embarrassing, humiliating, or degrading memories. It will be integrated into society, such as in parks, and will require people to divulge the moment to another individual in return for the moment being destroyed digitally on all platforms and sources permanently.