This past January, PSFK held a Good Ideas Salon in London bringing together the most forward-thinking tastemakers, innovators, and experts from around the world to discuss key areas steering innovation. There, Richard Banks (Microsoft) spoke about what he refers to as “digital heirlooms” and discussed the histories we are creating about ourselves through digital media and how future generations will interact with the artifacts we leave behind.
Richard considered the current products of our technology, such as the thousands of digital photos taken by people each year, and discussed their endurance over time. While previous generations left tangible objects, our current generation has digital ones– and multitudes more. Our digital objects (physical or virtual) are rarely thought of in the long term. Instead, they are instantly consumed and then disposed of.
Richard also discusses the ‘breadcrumbs’ that we are leaving behind and how future generations will find them. He questions the existing customs and rituals involved with inheritances and how these mores could be applied to our technological heirlooms.