UPCOMING Oct 2012: Šperk Stret International Jewellery Conference

Thursday 11th - Friday 12th Oct. 2012

Julia will be running an Objects in Purgatory event at Šperk Stret'12 International Jewellery Conferenceat the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Šperkstret '12 delegates, students and members of the public will be invited to contribute their uncherished gifts to an Objects in Purgatory exhibition. The objects will be on display throughout Šperk Stret 2012, until the final day, when visitors will have the opportunity to chose an object to take home. Any objects that aren’t taken will be destroyed in a public display, using jeweller's tools and processes. The exhibition is a temporary resting place for objects, and gives them a second chance at fulfilling their potential as cherished possessions before being condemned. In this way the exhibition is a playful representation of purgatory.

Uncherished gifts offer rich potential for interpretation, because they don’t occupy comfortable positions in our homes. As much as we want to divest ourselves of them, they require that we keep them. The Campaign uncovers the contradictory emotions that these troublesome possessions mediate, and explores how their uncertain status is reflected in the way we keep them.

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