Digital Remains

Context:

  • 2006
  • Self-initiated, final piece at the Royal College of Art
  • Design for Debate and design research piece on death and digital culture.

Methods & Deliverables:

  • Concept and design of a possible product and service around death and data
  • Design and production of product mock-ups
  • Design and production of interactive exhibition installation
  • Interview research study
  • Exhibition at the Royal College of Art degree show
  • Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art MoMA in New York

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What happens to your data when you die?

Digital remains is concerned with the role that data plays when remembering deceased loved-ones. It is design for debate which assumes a world in which data is stored in online networks, creating digital archives of generations of people. This data is accessed by using physical access keys which become objects of remembrance to the bereaved.

With access keys (you could call them ‘digital urns’) the bereaved log on to the digital remains of their loved ones.

The Digital Remains access keys are physical objects that link to the digital legacy of a person. Several of them allow a group of people to mourn for a person. They rotate when anyone in the group logs on the digital remains of a person.

Digital Remains was exhibited at the Royal College of Art in London (2006) and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2008). 3 access keys were also aquired by the Museum of Modern Art.

Some words about the thoughts behind Digital Remains and the design research I conducted when developing it can be found here.

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Digital Remains Access Keys

Digital Remains Access Key

Access key to the digital remains of a deceased person.

Digital Remains Access Key

Access key to the digital remains of a deceased person.

Digital Remains Login

Login to the digital remains of a deceased person. The digital remains lie online, in the cloud, where loved-ones log onto every now and then in order to remember the person they mourn for.

Digital Remains Access Key

An access key of a person who is 'data conscious' and uses the key to consciously decide which data should become part of his digital remains.

Access key to the digital remains of a deceased person.Access key to the digital remains of a deceased person.Login to the digital remains of a deceased person. The digital remains lie online, in the cloud, where loved-ones log onto every now and then in order to remember the person they mourn for.An access key of a person who is 'data conscious' and uses the key to consciously decide which data should become part of his digital remains.

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