Memory China

Memory China is a teapot that records conversations around the dinner table into its lid, and plays the conversations back into the body of the teapot.  Inspiration for this concept comes from the ritual of ‘getting out the best china’ for a special occasion, where it is those occasions that are memorable.  Conversations around the dinner table encapsulate the meaning of getting out the best china and allocating quality time to talk with family and friends.

Working with technical researchers at Hewlett-Packard, and with help from Wedgewood supplying the tea set and individually sign-writing the teapot lids, Memory China is a fully working prototype.  The teapot captures conversations when the lid is in record mode by means of solid-state audio devices fitted into the lid, and to listen to conversations the lid is turned 180 degrees into playback mode with conversations played through a speaker in the lid into the teapot body.  The body of the teapot amplifies the sound, varying depending on how much tea has been drunk.  Each lid is labelled allowing the owner to identify the events captured.

Completed as a Research Associates project at the RCA HHC, with research partners Hewlett-Packard.

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