Ecphory Space


The term Ecphory is based on a Greek word meaning “to reveal” or “to be made known”. Ecphory occurs when one recollects a past event cued by a trigger, such as a picture, odor, or name. It is a central component of autobiographical memory, which allows us to “travel mentally back in time” and re-experience specific events from our personal past.[1]

Citizen Memorials

A monument by definition is a statue, building, or other structure erected to commemorate a notable person or event. “Commemoration entails not only building, naming, or shaping physical sites. Commemoration as a practice also involves ritual acts in and occupations of public space as well as other kinds of performance and consumption that may leave no lasting trace on the landscape. Dictionary definitions tell us that to commemorate is to “call to remembrance,” to mark an event or a person or a group by a ceremony or an observance or a monument of some kind. Commemorations might be ephemeral or permanent; the key point is that they prod collective memory in some conspicuous way.” Kirk Savage, University of Pittsburgh

Our Citizen Memorials´ foundations lay in the present, take measures from the past and reconstruct them into tailored scenes within the city. Memories are the maps to build our own private commemoration spaces.


Autobiographical memories provide specific information to build adaptive layouts for interactive prototypes to display the content of selected memories. The infography presents examples of places of memory abstracted from Autobiographic Interviews and journals. The first set of reminiscences surface architectonical features such as balconies, halls or bridges, while the second set, contextualized memories in the urban environment, evoking anecdotes that took place at specific time and space.


Citizen Memorials (CM) can be found in the comfort of a table behind the cafeteria, the overwhelming quitness between bookshelves in the library, in the light of the third floor balcony at law building between 4-5pm, at lunch break in the clandestinity of the political science bathroom at the end of the dark long hall or in the fresh air at the rooftop of the university hospital after a long 12-24 hour shift.


Citizen Memorials can also be found in local bakeries, hair saloons and butcheries, in the intimacy of living rooms and terrazas, in backyards, in the muddy landfield across the fancy sports centre where kids play and families gather on Saturdays or in the joy of flying kites as reward after a long pilgramage. CMs exist in the warm afternoons by the hammock at one of the neighbour´s house, telling stories of the end of childhood and beginning of adolescence to their kids. Citizen Memorials are a mix of private and public spaces idealism, a midpoint in need of a more effective design for public/private realms.



[1] Steinvorth, S., Corkin, S., & Halgren, E. (2006). Ecphory of Autobiographical Memories: an fMRI Study on Recent and Remote Memory Retrieval. NeuroImage, 30(1), 285–298.

All content on this website (c) Gloria Rodríguez 2017

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