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Visiting Maurice Halbwachs in the Collective Memory

Vera Damazio , Pablo Dias

A toy, a medal, a pillow, a ring, a drawing... We all have things that evoke positive memories. These "memory artifacts" incorporate experiences, which point to collective emotions and depict a successful relationship between people and the material world.

This paper emphasizes the importance of Memory Studies for the field of Design. Its main goal is to introduce some of Maurice Halbwachs’ pioneering ideas presented in his posthumous “La mémoire collective” and illustrate them with stories about things that bring back memories. These stories were taken from the research project entitled “Memory Artifacts of Everyday Life” conducted in the Social Sciences Graduate Program at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.


affective memory; material memory; social memory; memory artifacts