Liz Edwards is a designer and PhD student, based at the HighWire Doctoral Training Centre, Lancaster University. This website forms a catalogue of ideas and work.

Digital Memories 2

This collaboration explores Digital Memories triggered by RFID-augmented handmade objects, particularly jewellery. It focuses on the potential to store memories of the maker and the ability to add ongoing memories of subsequent owners.

A dressing table trinket bowl, transformed by an RFID reader becomes a trigger to access memories and narratives associated with items of jewellery. Ownership, readability, innate nature and translation of media are amongst the issues inherent to the project.

Lockets are traditionally holders for memories. Protected from unwanted examination by close proximity to the body they symbolise and emotional closeness. An RFID tag, embedded within a metal locket retains the privacy of traditional locket. Enclosed by metal In its closed state it cannot be read due to the creation of a Farraday’s Cage. Once opened the locket can be ‘read’ revealing hidden contents.

The invisibility of digital information associated with an object means that content can exist unnoticed. Embedding RFID tags preserves the integrity of the hand-made object but makes detection difficult. Timo Arnall of the Touch project & Jack Schulze from BERG have addressed this issue, desiging an icon based on the ‘readable volume’ of an RFID tag (www.nearfield.org).

This mark could be applied to some items of jewellery, following in the lineage of hallmarks, as above. However, practicality and aesthetic may prevent this kind of mark, raising further questions of presence.

This is a Convergent Design collaboration with jeweller, Cerys Alonso. Click to go to the Convergent Design website.

NeueThemes Logo