DS3 Collection


The Prompt

The prompt for the project was to get an object that was meaningful to us, free associate as many words as possible, collect 50+ images based off of that, and then make an “included” poster of the images we liked + a corresponding “excluded” poster of the leftovers.

The Process

This is the object I chose:

It’s a seed from a Buddhist temple that, as you rub it over time, it’ll get shiner. It was gifted to me by a dear friend.

Some words I landed on included cultivation, sacred, time, charms, rhythm, love, intimacy, poetics, myths, symbols.

Here’s an image of the 50 images I ended up with:

We were really pushed to annotate and to ‘add layers’. Here’s some post-it notes and scribbling.

From that, a clear idea emerged for me:

The cultivation of the transcendent through the mundane.

The problem was trying to convey that through a poster.

What might it mean to form a loving relationship with a poster? What does cultivating a poster look like? What is the spirit of a poster, and how might we marinate in it?

The conclusion that I ended up with was that a physical poster was desperately insufficient for the ideas that I hoped to explore. Instead, I built a site that experimented with these hefty concepts in a small way.

The Exploration

See the live site at https://ds3-collection.netlify.app/. See the rejected images at https://ds3-collection.netlify.app/rejected.

This is the site in an earlier state.

I ended up putting all the accepted The current version of the site has replies connected as well. into a web (using D3.js). I connected the images that I thought were relevant to one another. Each image is also linked to at least one of six tags: love, transcendent, mundane, cultivate, objects and time.

The links that are connected to tags are coloured accordingly. Images that are linked to replies are of lighter grey.

There are three main parts of the site:

  1. Each image is paired with a question.
  2. Time capsules.
  3. Each image can be replied to.

Image / Question Pair

This is scrolled down a little.

To speak to the interface first, the image is deliberately put such that that’s the only thing we see, and we have to scroll down to get to the other content. The question also has a healthy spacing too for the same reason.

This is a reaction to something like Pinterest where there are just walls of images. I wanted there to be full attention on a single thing, removed from other images and even interactions such as ‘liking’ or ‘commenting’.

On pairing each image with a question, in my struggle to make a poster ‘alive’, I came upon the idea that a question itself can be ‘alive’. Every time we engage with a question, it might reveal something different to us. A question, even if we just read it once, can reside in our minds like a seed.

Time Capsule

This is why I created ‘time capsules’ so that you can revisit these images and questions periodically, and in this way form a long term (at least in internet time) relationship with the material. It works by sending you an email after the set period.

Another reasoning behind the capsules was also to do with how we often collect a lot of material (e.g pins or blocks), but rarely, if ever, look back through them again.


Questions are often meant to be answered, or at least attempted.

I wanted to get beyond the propositional, and so the replies are strictly image only.

Unimplemented Features

Due to time constraints, there were a few planned features that I haven’t yet implemented. Here’s a list:

  • Users can add image / question pairs themselves.
    • The pairs will always have to be connected to at least one of the tags, and can be connected to other pairs too.
    • Allow for realtime update of graph.
  • Filter the graph by users, pairs and replies.
  • Have a ‘questions’ view.
  • Profile view to delete replies and cancel time capsules.