The topic for my thesis spawned out from a personal agony within my family: my grandmothers declining health. Once a strong and bold woman, now only a fainting image of her past. Her Alzheimer’s disease is unravelling the fabric of her life, knot by knot, and vaporising the very core of her personality and life, her memories, and turning her into a shell of a human being. I felt the urge to connect design to the human emotional sphere and to values that reflect how we are as human beings, by trying to create a bridge between the metaphysical and the material world using design as medium of expression.
The use of language in Western contemporary culture implies that memories are often conceived as possessions: we ‘keep’ memories alive or ‘preserve’ them, as if our memories were materialised objects. These objects become mementos and our personal possessions of which we are responsible for. When objects impregnated with memories are created, they become precious and irreplaceable because of the transference of memories into that object.
We have a tendency to facilitate the notion of fragility into objects that have special meaning to us, which enhances our ability to care for them; this can be expressed psychologically, metaphysically or through material fragility. Nevertheless, fragility tends to transform objects more valuable, more precious and beautiful by their virtue of expressing the transience of life and our temporal nature.
According to philosopher Martin Heidegger temporality is what defines us as human beings. Dasein (meaning ‘Being-there’) is a temporal mode of being. Dasein unifies the past, the present and the future and Heidegger refers to them as the ecstasies of temporality. Our existence as a being ( as Dasein) reveals itself as authentic care. My interpretation of Heidegger’s philosophy is that through care we define more profoundly who we are as human beings.