Make It Memorable

Light installation at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

‘Make it memorable’ is a collaborative art installation where people come to share their memories of the festival placing concealing them in tubes within the installation.

The data is used in a way that gives people complete control of what they wish to share whilst remaining anonymous among other contributions.

It shows how data can become something beautiful and inclusive, allowing for people to connect their stories and experiences together as one. The installation then becomes a memorable souvenir within its own right.

At night, the installation comes alive; a correlation between colour with positive or negative emotions and experiences. Individuals will be asked to choose a colour to illuminate their tube which best represents their written response. This turns the installation into a live physical data representation of the participants individual experience of the festival.

In the duration, a time-lapse will be generated to show the progression of people adding to the installation, which can be sent to every participant if they wish to keep the souvenir digitally. The installation can be dismantled and reassembled, whilst also reusing the tubes in a bid for slowing consumption and reducing waste.

The project we have been given is how data can be used to inform the purpose of a souvenir. My research led me to look at ways of how a souvenir can become more than a object, focusing on the overall experience that remains when visiting the Edinburgh Festivals. A souvenir is:

“something you buy or keep to help you remember a holiday or special event

Fleshing out ideas of how to represent a souvenir

One issue of this project is how to represent data in a non-invasive manner keeping people in control of what they share. Could a souvenir be represented through art installation using dynamic responses such as light to represent the data? I abstracted the meaning to redefine the words ‘data and souvenir’.

Development of the tube used to conceal the memory data

I designed a tube in Fusion360, with  ~110 mm length and ~35 mm diameter, to accommodate a scroll of paper but small enough to have thousands of these tubes attached to the installation.

The tubes would be clear acrylic or toughened glass with a simple engraved design on the outter part. This added an aesthetic and also acts as a grip.

The tube consists of two separated chambers, the lower chamber conceals the LED light, leaving the upper chamber for the paper. Two lids seal both chambers.

I then 3D printed the tube, which didn’t work as planned. The bottom chamber cracked as there wasn’t a complete void extrusion in the lower half, I drilled a hole in to see if it worked. Due to the chemical components of the piece, its flexibility meant that a precise hole could not be created, which the crack appeared. The upper part of the lids also were too thin (1mm) which made them break.

I fixed the void extrusion and the thickness of the lids with more success on the second print.

It’s also worth noting the tubes were clouded on the inside and so toughened glass would be a more suitable material for transparency.

I wanted something such as tubes that people can place their memories and experiences into. This required a sculptural body in which the tubes can be inserted. This would be constructed from aluminium mesh with supports for the tubes welded in place. The height of the installation would be 2100 mm (standard door height) allowing taller people to reach the top whilst walking freely underneath.

Once each person has written their memory, they are prompted to choose a colour that represents their shared memory via LED lights.
A map of Edinburgh using the Royal Botanic Gardens as the location of the installation

After much deliberation, it was suggested that the Royal Botanic Gardens would be a prime location for the installation. There needed to be a secure location that would help divert people away from the city centre whilst still remaining central to the city.

The Royal Botanic Gardens. Image sourced from online

The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, also allows for people to submerge themselves within nature, a welcome respite from the hubbub of crowds in the city centre. The Gardens lock up at night, keeping the installation away from theft and vandalism- a concern that if the installation were in an open square, its fate would follow.

Installation at night
Final Prototype of tube

Thank you for reading.