A design perspective on three technology heirlooms

Human-Computer Interaction (Special Issue on Personal Memories) |

Artifacts play an important role as triggers for personal memory. They help in the recollection of past experience and in reminiscing about people, places, and times gone by. Of particular interest to us is one type of artifact, the heirloom, which may also have rich connections with memory, but often through the  ens of the life of a deceased member of a family, or a friend. Issues of personal memory and heirlooms are complex, diverse, and subtle. In this article we describe a design case study investigating the role technology will play as part of the process of inheritance. We describe the process of translating fieldwork related to artifacts and heirlooms into a design space from which a broad set of themes, concepts and prototypes emerged. We describe the development of this space, its thematic arrangement, and finally a number of resultant artifact designs.