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So you’re wondering what this is. Let's take a walk.

Think about the last time you wandered around your neighborhood, or maybe even one in another city. Ever pondered the places where people live?

“Oh, look, a cat in the corner-house window!”

“Second floor, Christmas tree’s still up in March—I like their style.”

 “What’s he building in there?”

Now think about your own space:

Stroll up to the door, turn the key, step inside…

If you were to take a mental tour of your home, what would you remember, and where?


“I was standing in this sunbeam when I found out I was pregnant.”

“This is the windowsill I was sitting on when we decided to break up.”

“Here’s the creaky floorboard that clued mom in to dad’s midnight snacking.”


It’s these landmarks both big and small that remind us of the who/what/when/where/why/how of our lives, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. Over time, architecture becomes a vessel for our memories and our emotions, marking transitions as we evolve—and as our communities change:


Your baby sunbeam could become someone else’s conference call companion.


That breakup windowsill might serve as the backdrop to a marriage proposal.


The creaky floorboard may someday by silenced by a renovator’s hammer.


So what’s the big idea?

I’m curious about the memories we make and where we are when they’re being made, as well as what happens to our architectural memory-markers when we move on—and I hope you are, too. People sometimes say (especially of historic homes) “Wow, if these walls could talk!” The thing is, our walls can talk—we just need to learn how to listen.


What difference does it make?

Do you believe that the people in your life are worth listening to?
Do you have an interest in the future of your neighborhood, or in the past of other places?

Even if the answer is “Nope!” would you rather be able to say “I guess so?”


Good news. If you’ve got 15 minutes, you can be entertained and astounded.


Don’t believe me?


Hearing what your walls (and other people) have to say is easy, if you know how. Applying oral history techniques to pique curiosity, inspire contemplation, and fuel conversation can almost magically alchemize memories from your space. (Yes, yours.) What’s more, by mining your own memories, talking with your walls, and asking others what they think (then really listening to their answers) you just might come to see your home, your loved ones, and your community in a new, more empathetic light. (Still don't buy it? Try it!)


Ready to play? 
Pick your path:


I’m here to listen to memories from neighbors near & far.

Great! Head here and tap on a window. Hot tip: Behind each window you’ll find instructions on how to make the most of your ears. For best results, give them a go. 


I’m here to learn how to hear what my house, my housemate(s), or my inner self has to say.

Good news: Your life’s about to get a lot more interesting. Follow this link for suggestions around how to make memory magic with just two ingredients. (Spoiler alert: Those ingredients would be questions and quiet.)


I’m here to share a memory message.

Super! There’s two ways to get in on the fun: You can record a voice memo on your phone and upload it here, where you’ll also find more info about what happens to your memo once it’s in the wild. Alternatively, you can leave a voicemail message at 646-801-8823. (Please note that voicemail messages are automatically truncated at the 3-minute mark. It’s not you—or me. It’s Google Voice.) 

What’s a Palace of Memory?

The Palace of Memory moniker was inspired by the mind palace technique, otherwise known as the method of loci. A mnemonic device designed to aid in the recall of information, it works by linking a list of items (for example, groceries) to specific locations—in many cases, locations within a house. In conducting oral history interviews with individuals, I’m equally as interested in their lives as I am in where their lives have been lived. I’ve found that by asking people to go on a mental tour of their homes past and present, they often recall memories they might’ve forgotten. Instead of using the mind palace technique to remember what was on a grocery list, people mentally tour their home and remember the front door…and then they remember all of the things that happened while they were turning the handle over time. In those moments, real-time recollecting often results in an emotional connection to history made, as well as an awareness of present-minded history in the making. What’s more, that connection frequently highlights the ways in which we hold memories of our houses…and of how our houses might hold memories of us, too.


It’s my hope that by connecting people to space through their somatic and special senses that they might think about their homes—and by extension, the homes of others—in new, more symbiotic and sympathetic ways. It’s in this way that I believe buildings can become psychic capacitors for positive social change.


(...and what's a .io domain, while we’re at it?)

As for .io? In computer science speak, I/O stands for input/output—AKA: The communication between a processing system and another system, or a human being. Inputs are received by the system, and outputs are generated as a result. This project is not-so-silent partnership between neighbors on Earth, peeking into virtual windows from afar and sharing their memories. Without any input, there isn’t any output. As with most things, only works when we work together. 

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