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SeedGem Bespoke Memorialisations


Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design
Bartlett School of Architecture (RC3 Lab)
Medical Research Council

Brand Identity / Design Research/ Scientific Research / Speculative Design / Storyboarding / System Design

Bespoke Memorialisations was part of Big Data: Designing with the Materials of Life, a live project organised by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Professor Carole Collet.

Groups of Material Futures colleagues and architects from the Interactive Architecture Lab were paired with scientists to design responses towards the challenges of big data.


Our team worked with Professor Ueli Grossniklaus, a specialist in plant development genetics. Based on research that digital information can be stored in seed DNA, we designed future systems for the management and storage of personal data.


SeedGem is a service that provides bespoke memory storage using seed DNA. Through an online interface users upload and curate their personal memories in the form of digital files such as photographs, designing a customised plant hybrid to contain these recollections.

Upon their death the user’s loved ones will receive a GemPod containing the engineered seeds and can sow them or use the SeedGem decoder to retrieve the data. 

The seeds can also be donated to Seed Sanctuaries worldwide to aid reforestation efforts for a long-lasting, sustainable legacy.


This project was featured on Artists & Algorists and exhibited at the launch of the Data Science Institute at Imperial College.

The Bespoke Memorialisations film can be accessed here and the Big Data PDF downloaded from here.


Illustrations: Ting Ye
Photography: Yizhu Fang

Architectural Renders: Tamon Sawangdee


Yizhu Fang
Eizo Ishikawa
Abigail Summerfield
Jaime Tai
Ting Ye
Tamon Sawangdee