A project recently exhibited at the 2013 London Design Festival uses an AR app to attach users’ stories to a specific time and location.
Shadow Memories is a project by British designer Joshua Barnes that enables users to capture and save memories by tying them to a specific shadow cast by a bench. A sundial is created by the back of the bench and the middle armrest, which functions as the stationary arm. Visitors are encouraged to make a video or voice recording and then snap an image of the bench’s shadow, to which their story will be linked using the Shadow Memories augmented reality app. The app uses image recognition to ensure that the story is accessible only when the exact same shadow reemerges — one year later.
This blend of digital and analog elements is not only an interesting way to store and share narratives with others, but also provokes a dialogue about the very act of memory preservation. With the instantaneous nature of social media, we have become accustomed to having access to past moments at our fingertips; Shadow Memories challenges this concept by preserving memories in a narrow window of time and space.