What is it?
In Memoriam is a two-part home system designed by Ony Yan. Its purpose is to detect a death in a house where someone lives alone. Then it communicates it to the neighborhood through a lamp installed at the main entrance. The other part of the sensor, installed inside the house, detects odors that get released during the decomposition of a body. Once detected, the lamp at the entrance will light up and signal that someone inside the house has passed away.
Why is it created?
The anonymity in big cities leads increasingly to cases where deceased are not discovered for weeks.
The designer herself experienced a tragic case in her own neighborhood, where someone died and their body wasn’t discovered until much later when it had started to decay. She became familiar with other such cases of death which inspired the creation of In Memoriam.
This system prevents the traumatic experience of unexpectedly discovering a dead body. At the same time, it encourages the neighborhood to take social responsibility and see the death of a community member as a shared loss that should be treated with respect.
Ony Yan believes in the social nature of humans, which is why she is creating a scenario that would encourage a community to come together and independently work out how to help someone who has died rather than ignore the incident.
Why does it have future growth potential?
The discovery of a dead body often leads to trauma, especially when family or friends have found it. Yet, research in Germany estimates thousands of these death cases per year. That leads us to the question: What if we could be aware of these death cases sooner?
The smell detectors, designed by Ony Yan, analyze the organic compounds during possible decomposition and pass the signal for the community to be aware of a death case.
All around the world, we see light where there is grief. With In Memoriam, light can be the messenger.
“In Memoriam translates as ‘to remember someone’. At the moment when the signal lamp is lit, the light not only serves as a signal for the house’s community but also symbolically remembers the deceased person.”Ony Yan