Hiraeth

Graphic Design Degree Project

Hiraeth is an individual degree project based on the personal memories and dreams of grandfather. Trying to rebuild the house in different media by collecting memories from people who have lived there. Exploration includes floor plan drawings, building a three-dimensional digital model, different dream-like image treatments, various physical materials for an artist’s book, abstract sculpture, a first-person game, and an in-person exhibition with projections.

Hiraeth
a combination of homesickness, longing, nostalgia, and yearning, for a home that you cannot return to, no longer exists, or maybe never was, including a grief or sadness for who or what you have lost, losses that make your “home”

Ancient Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu recorded his dreaming of butterfly: “But I could not tell, had I been Chuang Tzu dreaming I was a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming I was now Chuang Tzu.” He suggested that “the distinction between waking and dreaming is another false dichotomy. If [one] distinguishes them, how can [one] tell if [one] is now dreaming or awake?” Chuang Tzu raised the question of whether people are able to discriminate between reality and fantasy.
Departing from the philosophical realm, the blurry boundary of real and unreal can be depicted by the experience that for some memories, one cannot tell if it is originated from a real in-person event or from a dream. To explore the relationship between dream and memory, real and unreal, this is a project based on personal experience that aims to address the ambiguous and obscure notion about the merging of the memory originated from reality and the dream experience. Taking grandfather’s house that no longer exists as the main subject, rebuilding the house and the world around with different mediums from fragments of memories, this project depicts loss, memory, and where ignorance is bliss.
Floor plan and sketches based on personal memory and conversations with family members
3D Model based on memory

Treating “game” as a medium that evokes interaction enables the audience to control and explore the house as if entering the memory. Players will trigger sketches and sounds of different objects at specific places as fragments of memories pop up in mind.
Inspired by the essence of memories and dreams: fragments, uncertainty, collection, and containing, the book is designed as “a book inside a book.” With a collection of stories, memories, and dreams that happened in my grandfather’s house, the book depicts a world made up of fragments of information about the house. The interaction with the thread and acetate translates the experience that memory gets clearer as layers of information accumulated.

The sculpture, named Memory in Space, 256 origami cubes contained in a plexiglass box sewed with red threads, depicts the abstract form of the house, which does not exist physically but is constructed with all memories.
Installation
Inspired by the evocative project "Hiraeth," this piece embodies a profound exploration of memories and dreams within a domestic context. "Hiraeth" delves into nostalgia's depths, blurring reality and the surreal, challenging our grasp of the tangible and the subconscious. The self-standing display shelf, crafted from transparent glass, exudes an ethereal lightness, with delicate beads cascading like fragmented memories. These beads serve as metaphors, shaping domestic spaces and weaving together the threads of recollection. Extending the layering concept, the evenly spaced beads offer versatility, allowing users to adjust dividers as they see fit. This flexibility metaphorically represents memories as fluid, adaptable, and ever-evolving. This furniture piece is an exploration of the relationship between domestic spaces and memories, illustrating how the past continually shapes and reshapes our perception of the beloved spaces. It serves as a poignant reminder of the power of memory and the nostalgic yearning encapsulated in the word "Hiraeth."