Memory Boxes

In March 2018 I was awarded a grant by York Dementia Action Alliance to carry out the Memory Boxes project. Working with digital maker Paul Fothergill, origami metamorphogram boxes were created with a hacked Google Home Mini inside.
Each box lived with a person from the York dementia support group Minds & Voices for up to 3 months. While living with the box each person recorded – anonymously – any thoughts they wished to share about living with dementia.
At the end of the time, each box became a metamorphogram – a visual memory of its time living with that person.
An exhibition was held at York Explore exhibition space (August 17th – September 28th 2018), bringing together the metamorphogram images together with words recorded by the boxes.
This was a very successful proof of principle project. Longer term, the intent is to use the anonymous information collected by these boxes to advocate on behalf of people with dementia.
Video interview about the exhibition.

Above left: Memory box opened, showing hacked tech components inside.
Above Right: Closing up this star box.
Left: Ready to go. Coated with cyanotype chemicals, this box is now a metamorphogram in progress.

Left: Prepared cube, with ‘reminder’ instruction tag, ready for delivery.
Above: Icosahedron and tetrahedron boxes being finished.

Left and Below: Completed metamorphogram images from the first seven Memory Boxes.
Where the same box shape was used, unique images (visual memories) result due to different experiences during their time as a box.

Above: Images from the exhibition, showing words collected by the boxes.