This project the result of an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Daisuke Uriu at the Graduate School of Media Design in Keio University in Tokyo, Japan. This work consists of designing, implementing, and deploying Fenestra–a domestic technology embodied in the form of a wirelessly connected round mirror, photo frame, and candle that displays photos of departed loved ones. Fenestra’s interaction design, form, and materials draw inspriation from the butsudan—a Japanese Buddhist home altar that is a highly significant site for practices of memorializing departed loved ones. Lighting the candle activates the Fenestra system. Indeterminate changes in the brightness and movement of its flame control how photos of the departed are surfaced, cycled through, and remain present on the photo frame and mirror displays. When the user gazes directly at the round mirror, cropped digital portraits of the deceased are displayed (a choice inspired by iei portraits of the departed common in Japanese memorial ceremonies).
Uriu, D., Odom, W. (2016, in press). Designing for Domestic Memorialization and Remembrance: A Field Study of Fenestra in Japan. In Proceedings of SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. San Jose, USA. CHI ’16. ACM Press. *Best Paper Honorable Mention Award*