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
My idea is inspired by the incense burning ritual of Vietnamese culture to celebrate death. Incense sticks are burnt at funerals, at grave sites, or on a daily basis on home altars. I wanted to digitize the incense ritual to include sounds or memories. In terms of a memory of the deceased, we don’t want to forget about things like the way their voice sounds or a song that reminds us of them or the way they laugh, but sometimes thinkings about theses things are painful so we push these memories aside, but if we don't engage with them, we start to forget or worst augment a memory we have of them. This is why people keep voicemails, pictures, and old tapes of the decease locked away in shoe boxes. I want my piece to take that burden off of someone.
I don't see it as a replacement for the actual incense sticks because there’s that quality of smoke and burning that is beautiful in that ritual. I see it as a supplement to an existing ecosystem. I kept the design simple because it should noticeable, but not intrusive.
The vase can hold as many incense sticks as possible (i.e. you can just keep adding more). The difference is now they hold digital memories that you curated and they can even be duplicated. You can curate a variety of incense sticks for yourself or for someone else.
When you first get the incense sticks, they are empty and you start off with three and are encourage to put in: (1) a memory with the decease's voice, (2) a song or sound that reminds you of them and (3) a memory that you verbally saying a story about them. Then you can gift this to someone else or just leave it in your bedroom for yourself. I say the bed room because it’s a private place and usually altars are not in bedroom because they’re a bit messy should be in a communal area for a shared experience. Mine is a bit more personal, and the curated memories I put together might be just for me. You can also gift this to someone else with pre-filled memories that they can delete and put their own in or trade with you. You can hear them all at once or separately, as well. You can put the incense stills on a gravestone so that others who visit can get a better sense of the person, since gravestones are such a cold, impersonal place sometimes.
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