Connecting People Across Time

Made by Nurie Jeong

What if we create a nostalgic bond between people who once stayed in the same space in the different time?

Created: January 31st, 2018

Final vision video
Nurie Jeong -


The grad design studio is the home of the entire design masters. Unlike undergrads, people changes every 2 years or shorter, makes it hard to build a unique and strong identity across different cohorts. We are also forgetting to keep our beautiful traditions (family dinners, potlucks, Halloween parties..) as those who took initiatives left the studio. After saying goodbye to the previous cohort and welcoming the new grads, one idea came up in my mind - how can I bridge between previous design grads and the current people? What if they can share memories and communicate across time and distance? For this project, I'll augment the visual/audio memories of the people who were in the studio in the past onto a physical object that everybody in the studio can have strong attachment and create a video sketch that shows how might students from the different years can communicate through the slices of moments. 



To begin with, I explored objects/spaces that can represent the unique memories and identities of design masters in the studio. Many of them chose their individual desk and said it would be interesting to see who sat here over the years. Some also said that they want to see the memories of the past social events happened in the studio kitchen. Finally, I picked the collaborative work spaces and white boards that contain a long history of our past project works. 


In terms of the prototype concept, I referred to a couple of tangible memory augmentation projects and envisioned how would my prototype will look like. I was deeply inspired by 'Then and now' photography and 'Family Album through Sound Memories' project. I came across an idea of 1) seeing multimedia augmentation through a physical device and 2) navigation different memories through a tangible interface. 



After the exploration, I synthesized key concepts found from the case study and made rough sketches about the prototype. I want to adopt the concepts of 1. Memory as the medium of communication, 2. Memory across time and space and 3. Multi-sensory augmentation. I'm planning to use Vuforia solution to overlay photos and videos taken by my studio mates over the years onto the physical objects that has the most memories. In terms of tangible interface/tool for the AR memory recall, I explored several forms that has an affordance of dialing so viewers can navigate the memories by year, including the padlock and the viewfinder. (Personally I'm so excited to use the form of viewfinder because it was one of the most favorite toys in my childhood.) 


Physical Prototyping

For physical Viewmaster prototype, I downloaded a binocular blueprint and designed the Viewmaster based on it. Chris at 3D Lab helped me do laser cutting with a chipboard. Alas, the first prototype ended up becoming a total fail, because 1) the strap part kept falling apart from the body and 2) the measurement got totally wrong so I couldn't assemble it. So, I learned a lesson - never trust blueprints online. Always check the measurement and imagine how it can be assembled in my mind.


On the next day, I tweaked the design and made sure to make everything fit perfect. To prevent the side part for falling apart from the body, I added hinges to make the folding part more steady...and it worked really well :) Inspired by the family sound memory project, I also added a simple tangible dial interface that can help navigate between different time period. When the user dials the wheel, he/she can see and hear the memory of people from different years.


Memory Augmentation Prototyping

For visual/audio memory augmentation, I played with Blippar (, used the studio furniture as visual markers and overlaid short videos I took. Making align between visual records of the past and the current space was more powerful than I thought - It's REALLY vivid, and feels like the people of the pasts are talking to me. One challenge is that it's fairly hard to make exact alignments between visual aids and the space. So, I'm thinking of making a short concept video and illustrate how it will 'ideally' work.


Video Sketch

Finally, I shot a video clip about how the prototype works. I'd like to shout out to Denise, Mackenzie and Lisa who helped me create the video super quickly. Too bad that I have limited skill to make it work, but with Holokit-like prototype, I might be able to make an actual working prototype.

Final Thoughts

Comparing memories between now and then evokes strong nostalgia and makes me feel like I'm connected to the past. Those emotions across time is really special, creating a unique bond between people who shared the same space. Also, I'd like to collect more funny videos of the past and make a bigger scale exhibition in the entire Margaret Morrison building :)

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The theme for 2018 will be the exploration of human memory and how digital and connected technology can support, augment, enhance, effect and alter the ways in which we remember, recount and reflec...more

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What if we create a nostalgic bond between people who once stayed in the same space in the different time?