Affective memory: An ethnographic approach to design

Cristina Luz Cardoso, Leila Amaral Gontijo, Maristela Mitsuko Ono


This paper examines affective relationships between people and artefacts, and focuses on items found in domestic environments. Employing ethnographic resources, German descendants living in Brazil were interviewed. The study suggests that memory is the main component of affective bonds between people and their artefacts. Beyond the possibility of providing quality relationships among people and their artefacts, affective memory inscriptions upon artefacts make strong bonds possible in improving individual and social group memory extension, as well as extending product lifetimes. Studies of memory and affective bonds are relevant to Design given that memorable experiences may be translated through research and strategies towards products’ design. Further research is necessary to benefit the inscription of affective memories on the design process.

Keywords: design, affective memory, collective memory, ethnography, German colonization.

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