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Memory Chip

Bringing cremation ashes and an indestructible memory chip together to challenge the concept of mortality.

What:
Speculative Design, Visual Design
Who:
Self Initiated
Impact:

Exhibited at Knivsta Centrum for Idrott och Culture

Project year:
2021
Problem area

Graveyards are overpopulated so more and more people are being cremated when they pass away. Because of this, there are fewer permanent, physical memorials of the dead. Our methods of storing records about people’s lives become obsolete as technology advances. If records are not updated, they cannot be read and are lost. How can we ensure people are remembered forever?

My role

Through research on the memorials and rituals surrounding death, and emerging data storage technology I discovered an opportunity for collaboration. The main challenge in this project was designing an artefact that blended tradition and technology in a sensitive way. I then used this artefact to imagine new rituals and memorials that could exist around death in the future.

Outcome

Because ashes are fundamentally carbon, they can be turned into silica using heat and pressure.. Hitachi have created a data storage chip that is virtually indestructible. It is made of silica. The data is recorded in binary dots, meaning any computer, from any time period will be able to read it. What if we created these chips, using peoples ashes, to create new ways of preserving memories of the dead.

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