Sunday, February 1, 2009

Memory Device //

We have decided to bring the idea of memory to our project because we feel there is a close link between the idea of preservation and personal
memory. The World Heritage sites are a past legacy, and one can only prevent its extinction through photography, video, writings but before we had these technologies we can only rely on human memory to recall specific characteristics and events that may have occured among the 878 sites worldwide in an attempt to bring them back to life. Understanding of the past is embedded into humans memories in that connect them back to the different systems working within a space/building/natural environment on a social cultural and physical level. We want to use these memories to gain access to a past history that we never experianced to allow us to recreate the past through technological means.

memory is the mental ability to store, retain, and recall information. Three tasks that the human memory performs are encoding [recieving, processing and combining received information], storage [the creation of a permanent record of the encoded information] and last is retrieval and recall [calling back the stored information in response to some cue for use in a process or activity]. Wikipedia.

levels of processing
organization: act of organizing data makes it more memorable
distinctiveness: say data in a distinctive way/example s
effort: one recalls more difficult data compared to easier data since more effort is placed on them
elaboration: people recall more elaborate sentences then short paragraphs

Buildings and spaces can be seen as external memory structures.

"In his writings Rossi criticized the lack of understanding of the city in current architectural practice. He argued that a city must be studied and valued as something constructed over time; of particular interest are urban artifacts that withstand the passage of time. Rossi held that the city remembers its past (our "collective memory"), and that we use that memory through monuments; that is, monuments give structure to the city." Wikipedia.

We want to look at this idea of memory storage in relationship with buildings on both the macro level and micro in how one engages with architecture personally as well as how an entire culture or society engages with it. Architecture we feel is a way of leaving something behind, and becomes richer as time advances. Architecture can be seen as a "progression of historical time" through its defaults, its decaying materials, the patterns of movement, and traces of past culture to name just a few. Next we need to find a way to use these 'traces' and memories to not only broaden our knowledge on the many world heritage sites but to create a catalog of these valuable personal memories to help us achieve sucessful preservation.

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