design thinking initiatives for a better urban life
MYPS is personalized cloud to ground cartography that reshapes both how we compose our farewells and how we receive the farewells of others.
A P.S. is an afterthought – an easily appended message that crosses our mind after we think we have said all we mean to say. Yet the postscript also contains our final words, which are actually quite powerful. When combined with the power of place in the development of memories, these afterthoughts can create meaningful journeys for our loved ones to revisit after we are gone.
MYPS uses the GPS capabilities of mobile devices in combination with familiar media sharing formats to facilitate the process of recording our shared memories so our loved ones may literally revisit them after our passing.
The following video is a preview of my final review “experience”. It shows how MYPS could tie together three generations of memories. When my Mom came to see me in Boston, we visited the places my grandpa remembered from his own time living here during World War II. After her passing, I will be able to revisit our route to see the memories she left behind.
I was invited to participate in a networking event by Ruth Faas, my main contact in Boston’s death-care industry, on December 8th in Arlington, MA. Attendees included board members of both the Eastern and Western Massachusetts Funeral Consumer’s Alliances, Grief Therapists, Artists, Funeral Celebrants and Funeral Directors. Here’s what they had to say about MYPS…
When using MYPS, the authographer (author + cartographer) links each PS they upload to a “Journey”, which will be compiled into a map with the geotagged messages and sent to the listed recipients. The preferences for each journey are set up by the authographer when the journey is initiated, including the contact information for the recipients and the intended length of the journey. The lifelong journey cannot be closed until the entire account is deactivated; the planned journeys have established dates when they will close, and the unplanned journeys can be closed manually at any time. Your companions are the journeys fellow authographers have sent to you.
Deactivation and recipient contact information are controlled and updated, respectively, through periodic emails. An e-prompt will ask you once every 3 months to update your contact information, your recipients’ contact information, and to confirm your continued use. If the authographer does not respond to 3 successive prompts, the entire account will automatically deactivate. This can be disabled, temporarily, if the authographer does not plan on having e-mail or internet access for an extended period of time.
Each PS can be a note, a photo, a video, a recording, a sketch or a placeholder, which will allow you to revisit the PS and add a message later off-site, or simply remain as a “place” on the map.
My Postscript is a cloud to ground cartographic composer that allows an individual to gradually create a map of messages for their loved ones to discover after the individual is gone. The process is incremental, both in design and delivery, so senders and recipients can handle the farewells at their own pace. A PS can be a note, picture or video and as small as a tweet or as long as a letter. Each PS is geolocated so recipients can visit (or happen upon) the place where the message was left for them and feel that much more connected to the sender.
The Prototype – MYPS v0.1 …
If you are interested in helping me develop MYPS, please send me an e-mail with your name, your intended recipients’ names and whichever of the following you are comfortable providing:
– your recipients’ contact information (e-mail or snail mail) if you want me to send them the maps directly
– your age (can be approximate)
– current city
– religious, spiritual or philosophical affiliation
– any other information you think is relevant to your use of this prototype (are you tech savy? tech terrified? pragmatic? a hopeless romantic?)
Once I have your information I will send you the username and password for the blog so you can start posting. For each note, picture or video simply add a tag with the intended recipient(s) and as specific a location as you can give. When the trial is done I will compile the maps and send them to you or to the recipients if you provided their contact information.
Ideally these will be real messages for real people so that I can get a better sense of how MYPS would be used in the real world. However, silly messages to fake people, silly messages to actual people and sincere messages to fake people are also acceptable (and may help me add humor to my final presentation at the end of the semester).
** This is currently in a blog format so that the posts are easily editable and so your input format will be as close to the final version’s input format as possible – if you have privacy concerns let me know so you can e-mail the PS’s to me and I will keep them solely on my harddrive till the trial is over. Also, the Tumblr is not searchable so only other reviewers will see the content**
Feedback or questions are welcome at anytime through email or as blog posts. At the end of the trial I will send participants a short, optional survey to see how I can improve MYPS for version 0.2
For those of you with smartphones, iPads, etc…
Feel free to post PS’s to whatever platforms you already use (twitter, instagram, facebook, flikr) with #myps2u and I will add them to the blog. Please make sure to tell me what platforms you use beforehand.
For those of you who want a more private option or do not blog, tweet, instagram, etc…
E-mail me your PS’s with the subject line MYPS and I will add them to the blog for you. Make sure to include an approximate location for each PS and an intended recipient. For example, “to Buzz Aldrin: Remember when we became the first people to walk on the moon – those were some good times! Location: West Crater, Earth’s Moon.”
Thank you for your help and feedback. Hope you enjoy MYPS v0.1
Jennifer Lee Mills