Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Donald Carr, Senior COLAB Fellow
Francesco Nerici, Professor SU London
Visual and Performing Arts
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Art and Design | Industrial and Product Design
My Capstone work explores the way an object can capture the essences of the people and events that it experiences, thereby creating sentimental value for the user. The project is composed of a research phase and a design phase; these two phases cumulated in a research document and a product design. My research phase began by exploring the value created in the relationship between users and their precious objects. At the core of this relationship is the importance of an object’s provenance. Substances can be duplicated but history cannot. We will always value and desire to be in contact with the essence of an original. We preserve the essences and memories of others and ourselves in the objects that we touch. The recorded provenance of an object reveals the story of its owner. From my research, I found that are three main themes in the stories that users tell about their precious objects: the object has contacted an individual who is significant to the user, it has touched the user in some way, or it has experienced an important event. This conclusion informed the brief for the product design, which was to create a product that physically changes to record the stories of the people, places, and events that it has experienced. My design is a response to they way we currently record memories by digitally capturing and recording our experiences as they occur. Shared online, these digital photographs, videos, and play lists no longer have a physical reference. The Strata serving set stores these digital memories, allowing the physical object to tell its own story. The set is composed of a cheese board, a cracker bowl, and a cheese knife. Each object is a separate study on how this system can be mechanically applied; this potential applications of this system is not limited to these three objects. Each object is physically altered by the addition of ‘jewels,’ which are glass, wood, or acrylic attachments. These jewels are digital storing devices that receive and store digital media wirelessly from smart recording devices such as cameras, phones, and computers. The buildup of these layers of jewels and stories create a strata of memories and stories. The traditional and natural materials gain a patina from a lifetime of use; it is designed to become a family heirloom. The Strata cheese set is designed to gain sentimental value in the eyes of the user by storing his/her stories and memories. By creating stronger bonds to our objects, I believe we will have a more fulfilling relationship with our physical environment and with others.
Hutker, Evan Alton, "PRECIOUS OBJECTS: Manufactured Stories, Strata Serving Set" (2012). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 101.
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