Objects and Memories

Personal Project    /   Research project on the relationship between objects and memories

Cover Image: Hristo Svinarov

Fireflies Lamp is a lamp inspired by the magical tradition of catching fireflies in a jar, as a playful and gestural ritual that allows users to ‘naturally’ control, illuminate, dim and turn off the light.

Turning ON

Turning ON

ON

ON

Turning OFF

Turning OFF

Rituals that evoke Memories

Objects and Memories seeks to analyze and project the powerful relations between objects, humans and emotions, and how they connect to evoke memories, nostalgia and rituals, as influential axes for new experiences and associations. Design theorist Donald Norman highlights the importance of the "history of interaction", the associations and values that people give to objects, and the memories that evoke, over appearance, aesthetics and utility/functionality through the concept of “Emotion rather than reason” (Donald Norman, 2005).

This experience  is also meant to change the bias of relating objects as purely sculptural artifacts, to become elements that fully engage the user, shifting schemes from “observer”, static and contemplative, to “active user” and experience.

Dimming light

Dimming light

Inspired by the affordances of a magical tradition

Behavioral process of catching fireflies

“Fireflies Lamp” gets support from the archetypes and iconographical images of a mason jar, an old oil lamp or even a net, to get inspired by other objects that can trigger memories and gestural rituals, and that can potentially communicate certain functionalities, such as ‘illuminate’, ‘catch’ or ‘storage’.

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Fireflies-Lamp-Sketch_SM.gif

> Initial Proof of concept sketch. I created this rough animated GIF to test the idea

The final result is very similar to the mason jar, since this form invites the experience of catching and containing fireflies, has a base and neutral colors that do not burst with the light that the insects generate, additionally, the lid is simple use and generate direct communication with the product's operating system. In the same way, 3D developments and rough prototypes were created, which aimed to test scale, technical and functional exploration.

The development in 3D plays a very important role to achieve tight scales, tolerances and dimensions that are close to reality and consider hard-points by the selected mechanisms.  Since the programmable LEDs drains a lot of current, so a very large battery pack was required, and this must be assembled inside the artifact without breaking its form and optimal operation. Something important to consider is that the experience requires to avoid the use of external wires since this may affect negatively the nature and freedom from the traditional activity.

Various sensors and switches were explored and tested during the iteration process.