Cookie Consent
Living Traces: 
A Speculative Experiment on Visual Memories
Master of Arts in Visual Communication and Iconic ReseaarchThe Basel School of Design
Design Research
Project website:

Personal photographs are more than only images that evoke memories; they are cross-generational materials of communication, visual facts of an event, and traces of belonging that also carry underlying information. Personal and collective aspects of visual memories emphasize the importance of preserving them. Even though printing photo albums has almost become obsolete, and we rarely review digital galleries and folders, we currently take snapshots from our moments more than ever. Despite all the advantages of hard drives or cloud-based storage, the multiplicity of data and the lack of physicality in the digital era has increased the risk of loss or destruction of our personal photographs. The environment created after digital transformation opens up opportunities for questioning, rethinking, and criticizing our stereotypes, assumptions, concepts and knowledge in order to shape new alternatives.

This thesis seeks to address the influence of digital transformation on the experience of photography in our personal lives and speculate a demonstrative scenario of interacting with memories in the future by using characteristics of both digital and physical environments. The goal is to connect the complexities of digital data such as metadata to the tangibility of printed photographs. It argues that looking back on personal photos as memories—like a ritual we have with printed albums—requires a new interactive process and environment that could add more value to our experience compared to what we already have today. The suggested alternative lies somewhere between analogue and digital to fit the modern digital culture and trigger our emotions as well.

Thomas Bircher
Paloma López Grüninger
Dr. Arno Schubbach
Iman Aram © 2024 All rights reservedImpressum + Privacy Policy