Designer | Artist


Memory Palace

I recently started to think that if something doesn’t exist in the digital world, it doesn’t exist at all. Ironically, digital content becomes transient when the file format is not supported, the webserver is down, or even when the hardware fails. So maybe it’s better to store those contents in our human memory than in rapidly accessed memories?

I set off to involve memory episodes in a replicable, controllable digital premise. When remembering an event we experienced in the past, not only do we experience being the subject of the conscious episode, but we also experience being the protagonist in the memory scene. [1] The human body’s action becomes a critical part of memory.
[1]  Lin Ying-Tung, Visual Perspectives in Episodic Memory and the Sense of Self

Charles Augustus Magnussen was a character from the tv series Sherlock. He knows all the secrets of every important person and blackmails them with that information. At his base, Appledore, Magnussen stores all these secrets in a vault and looks at them occasionally. As it turns out, the “vault” is his brain, and he retrieves files by meditating in a small room.

This method is called the “method of loci,” or memory palace. The memory palace established a connection between the memory content and the place that holds it. As a result, memories can easily be recalled when the person comes back later to visit the palace. 

I made a game that allows me to build my own memory palace by putting images in rooms, like a museum. I can put any photo on the wall, either in a frame or a window. I can add new rooms infinitely. Rooms are connected with virtual portals, through which I can move back and forth between rooms. These rooms are generated with random shapes for the pictures to go onto. They function as creases in our brain. The bigger surface it has, the more information it can store. So this memory palace augments the existence of some physical experiences.

This is the memory palace of my last two semesters at RISD. Images on my iCloud account enumerated it. There are interesting places and events, foods, animals, screenshots, etc.

Palace - RISD

Palace - Panoramas