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Family Scrapbook
Reconnecting remote families

Author: Andreea Chelaru (Romania)
Supervisors: Ralph Ammer and Neil Churcher

Idea/problem/context The new mobile world at the turn of the century has taken its toll on family relations. Increasingly, people are moving away from their families, with whom they lose touch over the years. Not only do people communicate less, but the quality of their communication suffers. Family Scrapbook shows the geographically separated family what is happening in the daily life of all its members.

What it is Family Scrapbook is a service and an application, allowing family members living away from each other to share snippets of their daily lives and thus retain an intimate and meaningful relationship with each other. Family members can post digital media (pictures, messages) which the rest will receive instantly, thus re-establishing daily family connection.

How it works Each family member installs the application on their personal computers. The front application window shows which member is currently online, and any photos, or short messages that have been posted recently; whenever a new item is sent, the rest of the family is alerted and can immediately see it. The application has a ‘scrapbook’ archive, open to the whole family, collecting all the digital media posted over time. The Family Scrapbook service provides storage space, and could tailor future versions of the application for different devices.

Value/Potential Family Scrapbook responds to people’s need (or obligation) to keep in touch with their families, without resort to one-to-one communication. A dedicated application, it is easier to access than the Web, allows more prominent alerts for new postings, and creates a strong sense of ambient family presence. Also, the scrapbook saves all postings from the individual digital mess and stores them safely, so that they can testify about the shared life of the remote family.

download QuickTime Movie (video by Andrea Pierri) - 3.10 MB


Andreea Chelaru
2005 graduate
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