Thesis Week2 — Domains, Precedents

1. Initial Question

How can I create a new environment to recall a special memory?

In “Why We Need Things” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi mentioned the definitions of objects: 1. Displaying one’s identity, 2. Revealing the continuity of the self through time, 3. Evidence as a symbol of a relationship. I think the object and memory are closely connected with each other. We are living in a fast-changing society, and there are many possibilities to lose our relationships. Therefore, I believe that holding on to our good memories helps us get through our lives.

2. Domain Mapping

My domains are neuroscience, cognitive psychology, communication, and interaction design.

Week2—Domain Mapping

3. Precedents

I. We Feel Fine (2006) by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar

This precedent is a data visualization website that harvested human feelings from a large number of weblogs. The system searches the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling” and records the full sentence, emotion, age, gender, and geographical location of the author. This precedent helped me to think out of the box because I thought that using multi-sensory tools were attractive, but there are many problems in the implementation including how to capture, store, and access the moment in multi-sensory ways. This product just took stories from blogs all over the world. It did not force or ask people to do something for the project so that it successfully got the authentic expression from people all over the world. This project also extends a personal story to the realm of public empathy. It made me want to testify to an old cliché that ‘a trouble shared is a trouble halved’ is right.

II. The Johnny Cash Project (2010) by Chris Milk

This precedent is a crowd-sourced music video project honoring the legacy of Johnny Cash. Participants choose an image from his music video and draw their own portrait of him, and it becomes a part of his music video. The beauty of this project is that it leads a personal memory from a single person to collective memory.

III. Sand mandala by Tibetan Buddhist

Sand mandalas are a ritual of Tibetan Buddhism. Monks work on it all week and then sweep it away at the end because nothing is permanent, and all things are in flux. This precedent guides me to think about the idea of “Non-possession.” Even our memory could be changed in many different ways for different reasons. It is good to consider embracing changes that happen around us. I want to explore more about this idea through the following research.

4. Concept Statement

I am studying how people look back on their valuable memories stored in digital media in order to understand how technology and time affect our yesterdays and relationships by making an interactive environment.

5. Annotated Works Consulted

1.Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1993). “Why We Need Things.” in History from Things (edited by S. Lubar & W.D. Kingery). Smithsonian Institution Press.


2.Kara Platoni. (2015). “We Have the Technology: How Biohackers, Foodies, Physicians, and Scientists Are Transforming Human Perception, One Sense at a Time.” Basic Books.

3.“The Johnny Cash Project.” accessed Sep. 7 2017.

4. “Sand Mandala Lecture.” Blanton Museum of Art. accessed Sep. 7 2017.

5. “We Feel Fine.” Jonathan Harris. accessed Sep. 7 2017. Jonathan Harris 2006.

6. “Depression, the secret we share.” Andrew Solomon. accessed Sep. 7 2017.

7. “How photography connects us.” David Griffin. accessed Sep. 7 2017.
8.“The moral bias behind your search results.” Andreas Ekström. accessed Sep. 7 2017.

9.“Design for all 5 senses.” Jinsop Lee. accessed Sep. 7 2017.

10.“After your final status update.” Adam Ostrow. accessed Sep. 7 2017.

11.“A mouse. A laser beam. A manipulated memory.” Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu. accessed Sep. 7 2017.

12.“Beware online filter bubbles.” Eli Pariser. accessed Sep. 7 2017.

13.“The web as art.” Jonathan Harris. accessed Sep. 7 2017.

14.“The Web’s secret stories.” Jonathan Harris. accessed Sep. 7 2017.

15.“Make data more human.” Jer Thorp. accessed Sep. 7 2017.

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