This article describes and reflects on the processes of designing two devices, Timecard and Fenestra, that both aim to propose new ideas for creating technologies that support rituals of honoring deceased loved ones. The discussion provides insight into how their respective designs were crafted to provide a range of interactions and to interweave with domestic practices, artifacts, and spaces; the article also describes the projects' similar strategies to supporting relationships with the deceased. Reflections then are offered about the design of future technologies aimed at supporting the processes both of adapting to the loss of loved ones and of honoring their continued evolving place in the lives of the living after they are gone.
Spomenik (“monument”) was a digital memorial architecture that transposes in time otherwise hidden cultural memories of atrocity. Spomenik, was designed as a simple digital audio guide, embedded in a remote rural location (Kočevski Rog, Slovenia) to work without the infrastructure normally present at national memorial sites. By resurrecting voices and cultural narratives of the deceased and placing them back into the landscape through digital means, Spomenik opens a dialogue about the events of the past and their relation to networks of the living; it explored the role of voice and agency, as serviced through design, in the act of memorialization. This article presents a detailed case study of a design-led inquiry about digital memorialization and digital preservation of cultural heritage. It offers a reflective account of the nature of legacy and the extent to which it is (and perhaps should be) necessarily bound to networks of collective memory, mediated through designed cultural tools.