As a 22 year old you do not get confronted with mortality or death. Last year I got confronted with mortality in my family, this sudden impact on my life made me realize I never thought or spoke about it with anyone. Death is a part of life and (at this point in time) everyone will be affected by it and, eventually, die themselves. So why don't we talk more about it?
The product Legacy offers a safekeeping to put valuable information that can be accessed by loved ones in case of death. The input can be both practical (what happens with my body, what would I want at my ceremony or even passwords to social media) and/or emotional (a personal letter to your loved ones, something to pass on).
We could put all this info in a binder, put that binder in a drawer and never look at it again, but the truth is that your personal situation changes, you might want to add, change or remove something completely. If you are not reminded somehow, it will be forgotten, get outdated and still remain a taboo subject.
This is why we designed the combination of a sculpture which doubles as a safe, and a ring (or other piece of jewelry) that doubles as a key. This way you are secured that only you are able to acces this information whilst you live.
The sculpture is egg-shaped, this non-religious form has no hard edges and is thus soft to the touch. We chose the egg because it is also clearly not a sign of death but one of life (and maybe even of prosperity/fertility). In nature it is where genetical code is passed on to the next generation, in our design it is where lessons learned of life can be passed on to the next generation. For our first prototype we would like to make the egg out of stacked and sanded poplar wood, a relatively cheap and easy material that has a light color.
The egg is slightly slanted and has a diagonal cut that seperates it to acces the inside. On the inside we still have some designing to do, we are really curious what people would like to place inside the egg. It should have enough space to put in everything that is needed. However we want to design it in a way that it can not be used for other purposes (e.g. a piggybank).
The wearable prototype is a ring. A small piece that can serve as a key to open the egg. For the first prototype we imagine a numerical combination lock, the sequence to open this lock is engraved on the inside of the ring. The basic design of the ring is that it is not a complete circle, just like life it will have a beginning and an ending. Further designing is needed to create a professional look. Our first prototype has been made using polymer clay according to some basic design sketches.
For future designs we might be interested in locking the egg with an nfc-chip lock, so when you touch the egg, whilst wearing the ring on that hand the egg wil automatically unlock. In the sculpture could also be placed a small vibration element (the same as in mobile phones), this element will activate once a year to remind you to update your information. These technological extra's are not viable for the first prototype. This also goes for possible other materials as seen below.
Our team consists of 2 master-students from the HKU (University of the arts Utrecht) with a network/connection to REshape Innovation Center, the RadboudUMC, DELA and Hart van Hout. Ofcourse we are looking to create more opportunities and collaborations!