Tangible Memories

Bespoke spaces and creative tech for care homes.

The Tangible Memories Project began in Oct 2013. An interdisciplinary team of University of Bristol academics, artists, local charity Alive! and older people co-designed and produced a set of new digital tools for older people living in care settings. The main goal was to improve people’s wellbeing and sense of community through the sharing of life histories. The next phase of the project began in Oct 2016 and saw the development of the Parlours of Wonder project and the Tangible Memories App. 

Parlours of Wonder

The Parlours of Wonder project aims to co-create new spaces of discovery, reflection and connection in care settings across Bristol and the wider region. It brings together multigenerational audiences connecting local school children with older people living in care settings, through workshops in the Parlours, where they can share stories, objects and ideas.

These sanctuaries contain inspiration and creative technology designed specifically for care homes to assist residents, staff and visitors with the telling and sharing of their life histories. These include a reminiscence map, object boxes and the Cabinet of Stories. The Cabinet introduces and presents the Tangible Memories app.

Tangible Memories App

The Tangible Memories app allows you to record stories that are meaningful to you and your loved ones and listen back to them in easy and accessible ways. You can create pages that combine an audio recording with a photo and text. These can be viewed within the app, shared on the screen within the Cabinet or printed into books. When printed, the audio recordings are represented by beautiful shell illustrations. The scan function within the app recognises the shells on each printed page and, as if by magic, plays back your audio recordings, allowing you to hear the voices you have recorded directly from the pages. 

Try the app for yourself by downloading it from the iTunes App Store, search for: Tangible Memories.


Tangible Memories is a University of Bristol project, funded by the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) through capital funding from the Connected Communities and Digital Transformations themes.

For more information visit:


Project Partners:

University of Bristol
Alive! activities
SEGames - app development

Blog posts about the project:

Britannia Day Care Parlour of Wonder 

Britannia Day Care Parlour of Wonder 

The Tangible memories app

A short film about the project