Can our living memories be stored in DNA?
The desire to carve out proof of one’s existence is very much a human one, as people have long used a variety of approaches to leave behind personal artefacts as a way of immortalising themselves in memory. Nature has often been utilised to achieve this means through the creation and naming of new plant hybrids, such as when David Austin created the Rosa ‘Royal Jubilee’ to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, ensuring that this moment in time could remain recorded and represented.
SeedGem is a service that provides bespoke memory storage in the form of plant DNA.
Through an online interface the user curates and uploads their life memories such as digital photographs and films. The user is then required to design a bespoke plant hybrid which will be engineered by SeedGem upon their death. This plant will contain their digital memories, converted and encoded in DNA form.
Their loved ones will inherit a memorial pod which contains the engineered seeds. The may choose to retrieve the data using the SeedGem decoder, or they may decide to sow the seeds and nurture the plant. This form of legacy enables a meaningful ritual for the remaining family members and friends, enriching the way a person is memorialised.
SeedGem also provides a further service whereby the seeds can be donated to a Seed Sanctuary which are
located around the world in areas where reforestation efforts are essential. Hence, users are enabled to leave
behind a legacy that is not only long-lasting but also sustainable.
Jaime Tai, Abigail Summerfield, Tamon Sawangdee, Eizo Ishikawa, Yizhu Fang, Ting Ye.