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visual communication practice

What Happened Today?


Description of idea

Describe your idea and concept of your work in relation to the festival outlines:


My initial problem was the intergenerational gap. Elderly tend to be isolated from their families, placed in aged care services and visited once in a while, the relation between grandparents and their grandchildren is weakened in western culture. How to recreate a link between them?


My concept is to create a simple interface where people can upload one media a day. It can be something they discovered and that they like, it can be a happy moment shared with their friends and family, or it can be something sad, that make them react. People upload to the system important element of their life, that they can comment. By doing this everyday of their life, they build a solid database of their memories and life.

When they want to spend time with they grandkids, they can share with them some of those memories, that will make understand the kids/teenager that his grandparents had a youth similar to them, with friends and parties, school.. And it would create more empathy and understanding between the two generations. But the project goes further and deeper.

Since people are building those database, filled with what make them happy and what made them sad, this create a very precious quantity of informations.

If companies or government had access to those data (anonymously!) They could use them during their design process, for building the cities of tomorrow, a new bus network, a new communication system, based on what made people happy or sad in their journals. The project would be more adjusted to the need for the users, and it would make their life better.

What kind of communication approach do you use?

My design Approach are Speculative design and System design.

What are in your opinion concrete benefits to the society because of your communication?

Outcomes for individuals and families

As time pass, people can go back and have a look at their past memories, what they have done, and enter an introspection state, that can potentially push them to start doing something else, more meaningful with their life, and maybe become a better person.

They can also share some memories with friend and relatives, reflecting a complex network of human relations.

Having those memories uploaded will also guaranteed a certain exactitude, as memory is by nature shifting and changing, it is good to have a written version of it, to be remembered of the truth.

When people grew old, they can decide who will inherit this database, collection of their memories. They can choose settings to censor some elements and give the rest to their children when they pass away.

The children will have access to the memories of their parents, and by digging into the database, learn more about them and their not so serious youth, or rediscover moments of their own childhood, from the eyes of their parents. This will change the relation to the deads and ancestors...Since they will be able to dig into their day to day memories, some informations may still be accessible.

It will also be useful to know the health problems of your ancestors: knowing if there is a genetic disease in the family will allow the people to keep an eye on it and prevent the thing to develop or fix it.

As generations pass, people end up to inherit of the memories of a lot of their ancestors, allowing them to have a better understanding of where they come from. And benefit this experience to move forward, and try not to do the same mistakes.

Data security Management

Users will decide if they want their data shared to the database (this will be clearly established, for transparency purposes) and what use they allow for their data (research, science, projects, government..) And will also for each post choose if the content can be shared of is too secure, as well if this content will be given to the children after the user pass away.

Outcomes for Companies And Governments

Companies and government can use those anonymous data to take better decision for the future (they will sign a ethical use document to ensure that they use those data for good, positive and sustainable reasons, if they break the condition they will be fined and banned from using the database). The database has a great quality, allowing companies to see trends and take better decision. By analyzing the database with powerful algorithms, they can determine what problems people encounter and try to solve them (transport infrastructure, ecology, health...) Take right decisions for the future and long term thinking.


Through the eyes of the user it will be possible to see the changes of the climate, by their comments, like, “it was a very hot day”, or “the temperature was 35 degree today, unusually high”. People may post this without paying attention, but with the proper algorithms to track and analyze these comment might reveal very useful data for science.


If a person post something everyday, at some point, when they look back at their post, they will see the evolution of their interests and maybe understand the construction of their personality. The system can work as a mirror and a tool for self reflection. It can generate change in people, when they notice that all the dream they had during their youth, none of them happened... So they can decide that it is time to realize their dream, buy that motorbike or sell their house and start to travel.

Science and research

The science will benefit greatly from this database and will make all the research progress more easily.
Psychology, philosophy and social science especially, but also all design disciplines, ergonomy, politic, marketing, entertainment will benefit from an access to those data.


In case of war, the data uploaded can be used to establish the real truth, not only the version of the winners of the war, as it happens very often in the past. And analyze how people lives have been impacted by war. Those precious accountings can be used to teach the coming generation about this conflict, a bit like Anne Frank’s journal.

Lots of other outcomes exist... The value and use of such a database is so wide, that it is difficult to imagine all the possible applications.

What did you personally learn from creating your submitted work?

I have learned a lot about what we can do as designers to change the world. We have the power to make things evolve, so we should use it to improve our society.

Why is your work, GOOD communication WORK?

Because, at the root of my system is a improving loop whose purpose is to improve the whole system where people are living (any aspects of it)

This loop is improving the system at each iteration.

The user share their life and memories in the database.

The database is used by companies, government, scientists... to create new projects that will fit the need of people.

Those projects improve the system itself.

The life of the users is improved, because the system became more adapted to their needs.

Where and how do you intent do implement your work?

Time frame

The ideal would be for this project to exist during hundreds of years if not thousands of years, so the quantity and quality of data would allow the apparition of very long term trends, like what matters for human, what each generation care about, constants, evolutions and cycles that we cannot see today because we are so short sighted, all focused on our small lifes. It might be time to think as a global specie and start building our future. This can start by relinking each generation with the precedent to create a better understanding of each others.

Design & Media

The service will start to be a software for computer and a mobile app, but it needs to be flexible enough to adapt to future technologies, so people can continue to fill their personal life journal. The database needs to be highly secured. To prevent a hacking of the database, it will be better to use a networking system of storage, rather than keeping all the data in the same servers.


Use past knowledge to create future - no waste of experience.

Environment of equity
Exchange not only between communities but between generations.

Do something new with those memories and give them more power.

New institutions
With the database, the institutions will be given a powerful tool to take better decisions, with a greater scale and scope for the projects.


Everyone. The more people participate to the project the more powerful it becomes. So the project will be designed to be accessible to a maximum of people, rich, poor, physically impaired, young, older, men, women, from every country and every cultures.


Everywhere, people lifes are different in different places due to culture. It will be very precious to see how a world wide event will be perceived by different cultures.

Did your intervention had an effect on other Media. If yes, describe the effect? (Has other media reported on it- how? Were you able to change other media with your work- how?)

Due to the very long term of my project and the number of users required to participate, I could not make it real, for now...

Curators comments More info on Curators & Editors ›

While in the MArch program at Cranbrook, my partner created a convivial tool - a tool that helps us stay in relation to something or someone in a supportive and gentle manner. Her idea was to institute a second mail system that was based on the lunar calendar - you would receive mail and thus communication on a full moon, putting you in touch not only with other people, but also putting you in specific relation to the moon, and thus the lunar cycle. As a proposal it wasn't necessarily something to be taken as a literal desire to institute such an idea, but rather, it was meant to point to the fact that we are often out of touch with the larger rhythms of life, the earth, the cosmos.
I think this project is similar in a way - its almost on the way to being a fully fleshed out system of interaction, but I think over-reaches a bit. The strength of the proposal lies in saying what we might need is to communicate with a more discernible rhythm. The elderly represent a different generation, but also a different sensibility towards time and its passage. Perhaps and avenue to further develop this project as a critical or speculative project would be to link it to a natural cycle or other shift in the environment that occurs on a predictable interval. Sunrise, Sunset, Tides, all provide a connection between us an the world, and could potentially be used as a means to structure communication, to give specific meaning to a singular moment each day, rather than the fractured "life by the nanosecond" we experience right now.
The detail with which the interface is constructed might be better spent working out a means of allowing each subject/user to select how/when they wish to receive communication.
So, the underlying gesture in this work is sound - reduce the clutter, take pleasure out from its co-location with constant updates - and re-connect pleasure to singular experiences at specific times. That, it would seem is a far greater claim than many of the other ancillary claims made in the proposal - just proposing a reduction in media consumption for the gain in actual communication is enough.
The choice, or construction of a specific interval allows for cross-cultural communication and experience across generations as well, and subjects/users may indeed find they adopt an interval of communication that's foreign to them, but as you note, will become meaningful over time as memories are built up through the exchange.

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Entry details


What Happened Today?


How can media posting bring people together and serve greater purposes

Concept author(s)

Lea Piskiewicz

Concept author year(s) of birth


Concept author(s) contribution

I designed the concept and ideas of this project by thinking on how we could improve the future by using our love for medias and our habit to post everything on social networks.



Competition category

visual communication practice

Competition subcategory


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description

Swinburne/ Faculty of Health, Arts and Design/ Graduate Diploma of Design Innovation and Strategy