— A Micro Version
We all have our individual stories but collectively we start to form a different one.
So how do we talk about memories? How do we give form to collective storytelling?
This is where the basis of this project comes from and one of two explorations into this concept.
My family lost a lot of our photographs from India, from before I was born. I come from a big family with five other siblings but uniquely I have a big age gap between all my siblings. Growing up in such a unique circumstance and with very little documentation about the family before the move to America I felt like I didn't know a lot about my family's history. This project was a way for me to create a makeshift map of our lives as a family unit. I wanted to quite literally fill in the gaps. But also an attempt to create a platform to help family's keep track of their history and experiences that might otherwise be forgotten over time.
I designed this interface to feel fragmented to imitate my experience piecing things I learned together while growing up. Never really getting the whole picture but rather bits and pieces. For that reason I made a conscioius decision to organize the website by splitting the different types of content and start the interface off with all the memories in a random order.
As I was designing I realized by breaking the content up by type I could rearrange the data in various ways. The different categorization types was really interesting to me because I felt like it gave the users options to chose how they wanted to learn the narrative.
It felt as if I was taking this idea of collective storytelling and consciousness and weaving multiple experiences into one story through this platform. While also allowing the user the autonomy to learn the way they want to and take in as much or as little information as they wanted — allowing them to form their own journeys, stories, and conclusions.
— A Macro Version
In the same vein as Filling in the Gaps, this also delves into collective storytelling through memories, but on a much larger scale. I used my
graduating class as the subject matter.
This website explores another way we can archive and categorize memories — by emotions. The background colors represent emotions and the blending of the colors points to how memories and emotions are transformative. The gradient background is created by an AI that determines what emotions are linked to the memories. As you hover over the screen the memories fade in and out of focus, much like real memories. Although this interface is one large page there are 4 different levels which can be accessed by zooming in. Each level shows more details of the memories, ending in a single entry view.
This proved to become an interesting study into data extrapolation and information design. Through working on this and looking at the memories in conjunction with time you can really start to see patterns and gather a lot of information about a typical college students emotional journey.