Here and There

This project was inspired by the stories of my son and I. We have been living away from each other for almost two-years with the long-distance of Seoul and London, and now Copenhagen, between us. It wasn’t long before I felt a lack of communication when it comes to sharing emotions and presence through online chat or phone.

Since 2007, I’ve been recording (using screen capture applications for video chat) our online video chatting sessions to observe my son, how he interacts with me through online chats, how to keep his attention throughout our conversation, and what he finds emotionally engaging. All the while, I’ve been thinking about better communication channels for families that live apart from each other.

This project is an exploration in to how the sensation of presence and daily stories can be conveyed over a distance in a slow and soft – rather than an immediately interactive – way.

Here and There is not only a personal space which enables you to store your everyday stories like a diary by creating photos, video and sound recordings, but also a secret space where you can share your stories with only one person such as your husband or child.

The device works like a dedicated walkie-talkie between Mother and son, or husband and wife, allowing only you to read their diaries – creating the feeling of shared secrets and deep attachment

This shared diary is more playful and emotional in terms of understanding each other’s situations in a less obligatory way than sending direct messages back and forth.

There are two modes that you can switch between on the device: “Here” and “There”. “Here” is your story box and “There” is his or her story box. In “Here” mode, you are also able to create your diary or message by taking photos and video, recording sounds and drawing on the touch screen. Once you switch to the “There” mode, you can browse and sample his or her diary by tuning the button.