What if you could erase people's memories?
SPECULATIVE DESIGN I RESEARCH I BRANDING
What if brain surgery was as common as plastic surgery is today? What if you could erase memories? This past semester, I worked on a speculative design project with Jane Yoon, Sunny Li & Andrew Park to create a futuristic world. Shown above are some pieces from our pinboard that inspired what became NOVUS Memory Clinic.
Shown above are visuals used to inspire the NOVUS Brand. Working closely with Jane, we discussed and explored what a medical clinic would look and feel like 100 years into the future. We like the idea of a clean slate, a "new" life if you were to have your memory erased. Everything would be digital, allowing for not just image but motion.
Shown below is the final poster we developed for this speculative world. This then extends into pieces that follow.
Final Digital Poster
We began by speculating what our world would be like if such a procedure was as easy and costly as a nose job. There are upside for those who suffer from specific medical cases but what are the downsides to the general public if people begin to use this procedure as a way to solve everyday emotional problems? We were greatly inspired by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. We were intrigued by futuristic medical designs. What will a clinic look like in 100 years? We read medical studies performed on mice that revealed specific memories can be located within the brain. And if all of this is possible, what is the post surgery process after a memory is erased?
The future world of 2114
By 2114, we live in the era where brain surgery is more commercialized to manipulate our memories. We are now relying on memory therapists and brain surgeons to have a healthy mindset and to create a better lifestyle. The culture of memory manipulation develops new medical centers such as a memory clinic and new job titles such as a memory writer. This procedure was first intended to be used for patients with PTSD, depression, and other medical conditions. However, it has become more accessible to the public and it is now widely used to alleviate more common emotional traumas.
Introducing N O V U S
Novus is the most successful memory clinic known for its advanced technology and its service quality. Its mission is to assist patients to return back to their healthy lifestyle by manipulating certain parts of their memory that contain traumatic experiences. Novus physicians and researchers are professionals who strictly perform procedures on patients who are diagnosed with medical conditions.
We presented our future world via Reddit and students around or school and watched their reactions. Using their feedback and inferring from our process we were able to predict potential problems that one could encounter for a future world where something like this existed:
Yes, We can reduce people's abilities to deal with hardships but would would make them more vulnerable.
People would learn less from their past mistakes.
Memory erasure could be used for non medical reasons.
Memories would could not be recovered.
This could cause great confusion if everyone has a different reality.
This could be dangerous if it became a black market industry.