The Rewind Button

Made by mmguo

Your own, personalised rewind button built for those rainy sentimental days, celebratory days, and for those spontaneous lapses of nostalgia.

Created: February 13th, 2019



Seeing my grandfather suffer from memory loss made me realise how important it is to cherish and remember the past. Not to dwell in it - but remember it, I think that there is a fine line. This project that I want to embark on embraces this idea in the form of a projection device that projects precious moments of the past onto your surrounding areas - so that you may be immersed in selected moments of the past. It is your own, personalised rewind button built for those rainy sentimental days, celebratory days, and for those spontaneous lapses of nostalgia. 

I coupled this idea with the hologram. I thought that this would be the best way to bring the digital into real life, to create something tangible out of memory. A study done at USC suggests that holograms may be the future of how we store our memories.



I experimented a lot with form in my prototype. I knew that I could not have achieved what I wanted to in the span of a few weeks, but I could illustrate it for my audience in a way that shows them what I want to create. 

I started by cutting using blue foam and creating a rough form of what I wanted my finished product to look like. I experimented with different shapes, taking inspiration from normal objects such as a Copic marker refill or a Kleenex box. I wanted the design to be simple, and clean; I wanted the end design to be something that could ease gently into everyday life. Seen below are some of the rough designs that I came up with. 



The hologram, to me, represents an intimate experience. I used this idea to prototype 'The Rewind Button'. 

In this project, I was inspired by research done at USC where holograms were used to document the past, store information. Here is an excerpt from the article: 

"So far, 16 survivors – 15 from the Holocaust and one from the 1937 Nanjing Massacre – have been interviewed for the project. Each survivor selected to participate has also given his or her testimony to the Institute’s Visual History Archive, which contains 55,000 video testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. But DiT is a new kind of initiative. The survivors were interviewed surrounded by cameras arranged in a rig to capture a three-dimensional recording of them telling their story in a new way, by answering questions that people are most likely to ask."

This project inspired me. This made me think about the possibility of bringing someone back to life, to carry a loved one with you wherever you go. This heavily influenced my design. I prototyped 'The Rewind Button' to be small, to allow it to be as a manoeuvrable as possible.



I first began by creating the hologram. I designed the outline on illustrator and had the acrylic cut into the shape that I wanted. I then glued the acrylic pieces together to create my makeshift hologram. The next step was a little more complicated. I began using the blue foam to cut, etch and prototype. I brainstormed numerous designs to come to the simple, clean design in my final prototype. 


Open Questions and Challenges

I am still interested in designing for the future. I think that the purpose of using a hologram was to figure out a way to store the past in the present. I am still curious about how we can make these holograms even more personable. I think that this project has opened up my mind to the possibilities of using a hologram to create objects and experiences that will change people's life experiences. 



In the very beginning of this project, I only saw the hologram as a way of looking back into the past. Now, after Professor Byrne introduced me to the 'Dimensions in Testimony' project at USC, it completely changed the scope of my project and broadened my perspective of the world. I realize now that holograms can be used as a way to store past memories and experiences for the future to learn. I think that so much can be done with this idea and that this project can expand onto so many more different paths. 

"The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed". After this project, I realized just how true this quote is. I believe that the idea of a hologram can be taken down so many routes, and I sincerely believe that it can help many different people if put in the right scenarios. 

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48528 Responsive Mobile Environments

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This 15-week course introduces students to responsive mobile environments and encourages them to explore speculative terrains that intersect art, technology and design and space. Iteratively, intro...more

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Your own, personalised rewind button built for those rainy sentimental days, celebratory days, and for those spontaneous lapses of nostalgia.