ERAMO is a product system that helps users intentionally capture, collect, and curate sentimental artifacts for future revisiting, reflection, and celebration. I designed this with Janet Peng.

Student Project

7 weeks

We create memories all the time.

Sometimes, when we reflect on our memory, we get sentimental. How might we design a system that aids intentional capturing and collecting of sentimental artifacts for later cherishing?


We conducted two types of interviews aiming to understand how people capture sentimental moments and what artifacts people value. Then through more generative research, we were exposed to participants’ wide variety of memory documentation styles.

Interview 1 | Photo habits

How do people digitally capture?
Interview 2 | Valuable digital artifacts

What digital artifacts do people value ?
Make tool | Creating documentation of a week
What and how do people want to remember?
Generative research | Physical and digital cards
What makes sentimental artifacts desirable?

What did people say?

“uhh give me like 5 years.
I can’t see this high school stuff right now.”
“It’s so easy to take a lot of photos, yet I don’t care about any of them.”
“You can’t copy and paste that.
(refering to physical card)”
“I want to remember who I was, what I have done, and how I got here.”

Emotional distance
is needed before revisiting memories
makes artifacts more valuable 
is desirable and irreplaceable
is desired for large events and the day-to-day, these collections aid memory

Early Concept Development

As we prototype forms and interactions, we realized that designing for domestic/family use is an appropriate scope. 

With the Eramo product system, people are apt to think differently about what physical things they will bring back to their home.

Eramo Product System

We generated this framework of memory-making from our research, which we then “translated” into storyboards. 

1. Capsules

The name Eramo, is inspired by “eravamo”, which means “we were” “we used to be” in Italian.

Two capsules Era and Amo are designed to gather artifacts relating to place and relationships. The forms are inspired by concave and convex surfaces. We also pursued an asymmetrical design for the top corners to avoid repetitiveness.

Each Capsule contains a shared base with LED light, as well as an Era or Amo capsule body. The button retracts the base from the capsule body.

To allow more customization, the capsules come in various materials: polymer, metal, and acrylic, ranging in translucency to offer more options for desired emotional distance.

2. Collecting Tools

The collecting tools are designed to help users collect, curate, and preserve their physical artifacts. A main theme of these tools is that they are all fairly small in order to encourage a more material light, experience heavy collecting practice.

Snuff Bottle | capturing scents

Texture Press | transfering tactility

Preservation Pouch | storing mementos

Laminating Sheets | preserving flat media

3. Wall Mount System

The wall mount system consists of aluminum brackets and polymer mounting plates. Users can store their capsules on the wall. First, attach brackets on the wall. Then lock wall mounts in relation to the brackets. After that, uses can place capsules on the wall mount.

Users can customize their Eramo wall. Place capsules based on timeline, or offset the wall mount to create a unique pattern. 

4. Eramo App

The ERAMO app allows users to set up new capsules, contribute to existing capsules, lock finished capsules, and revisit previously completed capsules.

Step 1. Create and Curate
Quickly sift through photos and choose the favorites to keep. Swipe up to skip a photo and press and hold to save a photo.

Step 2. Lock
Lock a capsule and set a revisit date. Eramo will notify them when it is able to be unlocked again.


Collaboration and Sharing
Capsules can be curated and set to unlock as a group so all owners must be synchrounously present to unlock the capsule.

Select a capsule you want to revisit or search for key words or tags. The physical capsule will light up.  

Eramo Beginner Kit

At the end of the project, we envisioned Eramo as a long-term subscription-based product service. A beginner’s kit may look like this:

In Feburary 2022, We displayed our project at Miller Gallery.