Memory Device

OBJECT | 2014

The Memory Device is an object to reflect on personal data collection and memory retrieval.

Today our devices collect information about ourselves, our actions, our surroundings. The more information we allow them to collect, the more value we get.

We rely on technology to collect and make sense of our own data, but very often technology doesn't give us the right to filter what we want to remember, or what we want to forget.


The Memory device reminisces back to a time when people used to tie a string around their fingers, or pin a piece of paper on their clothes, to help them remember something.

As opposed to what happens with our phones, the knot or the piece of paper don't store any information, they are just triggers. Recording is a deliberate action, giving full control over what needs to be remembered and what doesn't. Inspired by these artifacts I built my own Memory Device.

The Memory Device allows one to record and review moments, stored as simple time stamps and displayed as lines in a day time window.

I used the device to remember thoughts, conversations, and also patterns like lunch time or sunset time. Because everything is represented by a simple line, sometimes I forget what the line was meant to represent, and that's ok.

The Memory Device helps you remember, but also respects the right to forget.

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Additional pictures of the prototypes and a work in progress of a portable version of this device here.


This project is part of a larger piece of research - a series of objects to reflect on how our relationship with technology. See other objects: Slow Games and Manual Reader.