The Dream Box

2022  / Ceramic, Electronic. Final Project for Product Design in Ceramics.

The Dream Box is a hand-built ceramic box that, when opened, plays audio footage of my late father narrating his dreams. The box asks: how do we keep the things we cannot hold, things like our dreams and our dead?

When my father died, he left a USB stick with audio of him narrating his dreams, recorded over the previous four years. His dreams were strange, tender, funny, and absurd. I built a box, loosely inspired by traditional Japanese suzuri-bako writing boxes, to hold these dreams. From hours of footage I created an audio piece narrated by my father, which plays when the box is opened.

While making this box, I considered how memory, experience, and legacy interact. As an object, the box subverts the notion that only a solemn, stoic item – like an urn – can memorialize the dead. Instead, it explores grief through playfulness, wonder, and dynamism. The box asks questions like: When we lose somebody we love, what is important to keep? How do we protect and shelter that?

The rose is 3D-modeled and 3D-printed using ceramic stereolithography. The box is hand-built.

Summer day by the ocean. I was on a long, flat, Maine-like beach. The tide was out and a woman was walking in ankle-deep water. She came to a long sandbank and on it there were a lot of sunbathing rock lobsters. She had a bag and selected about ten of them and walked back to shore. Later, I went to the far end of the sandbank and looked for more, but I didn’t find any. That night at supper, there was a big platter of bright-red rock lobsters.

Listen to the audio here: PROJECT UNDER CONSTRUCTION ︎