After my meeting with thesis adviser, Rob Faludi last Thursday, I’ve updated my statement to the following:
Story Forest shares and replays your memories at locations where they were made within a city.
Story Forest is a service that invites urban pedestrians to relive and share their past experiences by contextualizing a city’s environmental cues to geolocated memories.
These memories, which stimulate both visual and auditory senses, are embodied by virtual trees that live on a digital layer overlaying the urban landscape. Through the use of a mobile device, pedestrians can instantiate their own trees or contribute to existing ones. When a new memory is added to a tree, a branch is formed along with its leaves. Each leaf represents a memory artifact, either a photo or audio recording, related to that memory. As others reflect on existing memories or as new ones are introduced, networks of branches are formed. These networks create a system for people to catalog and navigate through shared memories at a specific location.
Over time, individual trees planted throughout the city form networks of interrelated memories. These networks then form larger clusters that represent the various periods of a person’s lifetime.
However, as memories become increasingly ubiquitous within Story Forest, permanent accessibility may begin to threaten the integrity of these memories. According to Yadin Dudai, the Head of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, “The more you use a memory the more likely you’ll change it.” To reduce the likelihood of this change, once a memory artifact has been accessed, it disappears from its respective branch. After a period of time, the memory artifact eventually grows back.
The trees of Story Forest are life’s trail markers, informing and guiding urban pedestrians on the path that lies ahead. By contextualizing a city’s environmental cues to geolocated memories, pedestrians are invited to recreate and reflect on their past experiences. In doing so, they are encouraged to live a more conscious present in order to make better decisions in the future.
Below is a quick Post-It experiment I did with data sent to me from friends at the last Superbowl party with three memorables moments from each person. Via quick observation, the Post-It memory tree provides a more guided method of navigating through the content.
According to the Wikipedia, autobiographical information is split into three categories:
Also mentioned in the same post, autobiographical memories are broken down into four types (I’ve denoted how this project will utilize each type in each sub-bullet):
I am forgoing the part about dimentia/Alzheimer’s since it is another (huge) layer of complexity. Also, I think it’s a good idea to scratch the random appearing/reappearing memories theme mentioned earlier in previous posts. Instead, I’ve been thinking about cherry blossoms and how they come into season once a year, for one week only. What if these memory trees behaved the same way by further constraining the accessibility of its contents to a short period of time? We are killing two birds with one stone; 1) no more randomness and 2) people cannot access their memories all the time.
One thing that I didn’t address yet is the possibility of an augmented reality feature for the mobile app. Since I lack the skills and money to build an app at this very moment, I’m going to leave it up to the magic of vellum and printed photos to express what I have in mind.
Things to Do