UPCOMING Sept 2012: International Conference on Design and Emotion

Tuesday 11th - Friday 14th Sept. 2012

Julia will be presenting a paper 'Objects in Purgatory: How We Live With Uncherished Gifts'' at Out of Control: 8th International Conference on Design and Emotionin London.


The Campaign for Objects in Purgatory is a creative research project that investigates user-product attachment by exploring the emotional conflicts embodied in uncherished gifts. By seeking to find out why uncherished gifts are kept, and where in the home they are located, the project draws attention to social and domestic rituals that shape emotional attachment.

This paper reviews the Objects in Purgatory ‘live exhibition’ as a qualatitive research method, and as a means of engaging an audience in collective reflection on gift giving and accumulation. It also examines the data collected through the exhibition against research from anthropology, psychology and design. The findings suggest that we can dislike an object and yet still keep and value it. This challenges notions of emotional attachment by suggesting that an emotional bond need not be based on desire. Can we design products whose value is shaped through diverse social and domestic rituals?


Julia Keyte 2012