The Campaign for Objects in Purgatory is a creative research project that collects the stories of uncherished gifts, which despite their negative associations for the owner, are still kept. These possessions offer rich potential for interpretation, because they usually embody a contradiction in emotional value; as much as a recipient might want to rid themselves of an uncherished gift, they may also feel compelled to keep it.
So far we have collected and explored uncherished gifts and their stories through an interesting series of creative activities. These activities include exhibitions, creative workshops, a brooch exchange, academic papers and articles, and an online platform.
The project examines how the meaning of a possession develops and changes as it is integrated into the home, and explores the implications of this for research on emotionally sustainable design, and for designers seeking to create lasting meaning in their products. It explores the parts of consumption that can be difficult to get at – the emotional and affective aspects of owning things in the private spaces of home.