Data Driven Souvenir
What is a Souvenir?
A souvenir is a memento which is kept as a reminder of certain places, experiences or people. The owner usually has a strong emotional connection to the object and it allows the owner to cherish valuable memories long after it has happened.
I began this project by first conducting second hand research and mapping out relationships between stakeholders at the Edinburgh Festivals. This provided me with a holistic view on the festivals so that I could narrow down on my topic.
From personal experience during the Edinburgh Fringe, I found it difficult to find reliable show reviews. Hence, I felt that through creating a souvenir which uses review data provided by visitors, It will not only make their experience more memorable, but also provide a larger sample of reviews for all audiences.
I then did research on personalised souvenirs. I came across this paper which explores the effects of the visitor’s experience by incorporated an interactive souvenir making activity at the end of the experience. This paper explained that by creating a personal and interactive souvenir, the visitors experience was made more memorable and cherished.
Therefore, I aimed to incorporate this research into my own project.
This souvenir requires the audience to interact with it and input their personal reviews to the shows which they have watched. The show ratings are then mapped to a geographical model of Edinburgh to create a unique souvenir. This creates distinct local ties with Edinbugh’s geographical features such as Arthur’s Seat and The Edinburgh Castle, and creates a bond between Edinburgh and the visitor’s personal experiences.
This flow chart demonstrates how the product could be integrated into a system which can make festivals more personal and memorable as well as helping improve Edinburgh Festivals with the gathered data.
To go along with the data collection, I created an app where the audience can input their data. The app will then generate a mockup of their model.
I first 3D printed the data segment as well as the geographical height map. Next, I created a silicone mould of the 3D print. I then moved onto casting resin into the moulds and sanded the edges to create neat corners using increasingly high grit sand paper.
I then moved onto using the CNC routers to create the souvenir out of wood. The aim of this was to create a variety of textures and explore alternative digital manufacturing techniques.
The souvenir was created in CAD and then processed with EASEL to allow the G-code data to be read by the CNC. The machine was calibrated and allowed to cut. After the pieces were cut, they were sanded and stained in order to protect it as well as bringing out the grain of the wood.
Finally, I assembled the two haves with copper rods and completed the souvenirs.