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Mortality as framed by ongoingness in digital design

Lookup NU author(s): James Thomas, Professor Patrick OlivierORCiD


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© 2018 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This article presents a number of perspectives on mortality in light of both Victorian mourning and memento mori jewelry and bereavement therapy and grieving. Both help to reveal valuable qualities for digital design. The article then illustrates how these qualities influenced the design of four digital lockets, examining how both Victorian and modern practices relate to mortality, mourning, grief, and death, and exploring possibilities for digital design. Finally, ongoingness-by reference to the work of artist Moira Ricci-is explained as both a theoretical construct and a resource for design practice. Central in the proposal is the notion that, rather than being distanced or detached from the deceased (as has been the predominant grieving therapy approach of modernity), the bereaved can continue to have an active and growing relationship with them.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wallace J, Thomas J, Anderson D, Olivier P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Design Issues

Year: 2018

Volume: 34

Issue: 1

Pages: 95-107

Online publication date: 03/01/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

ISSN (print): 0747-9360

ISSN (electronic): 1531-4790

Publisher: MIT Press Journals


DOI: 10.1162/DESI_a_00479


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