A Nostalgic Theme Park: “Semi Memory” by Adrian Steckeweh


A Mixture of Records and Recollection of Memories

Winner of the NEWVIEW AWARDS 2022 Grand Prize, Semi Memory by Adrian Steckeweh, an architect, CG creator, and XR artist from Germany, allows visitors to experience random cityscapes based on real-life records from the Taisho and Showa eras in AR and VR.

The title Semi Memory is based on the idea that all memories are semi true. It is also a play on words: semi(蝉) means Japanese cicadas, which have an overbearing buzzing sound and represent the Japanese summer soundscape. Let’s launch the scene and find out what this sentimental work has to say about our memories.

A Nostalgic Theme Park

Upon launching the scene, the title “SEMI MEMORY” appears. Once you tap the letters with your finger, they will float away.
There is a wide, open space with playground equipment in the patchwork cityscape. You can hear the endless chirring of the cicadas and the view seems extremely familiar. This space is a reconstructed corner of the city, with various sounds and animation interactions at each street corner.

This work can be experienced in both AR and VR; if you choose to experience it in AR, you get to walk around and enjoy the atmosphere of the city. If you view this work outdoor, please ensure that your surroundings are safe and free from obstacles such as cars or other pedestrians.

Next, after going through the open space, you enter a residential neighborhood. The farther you go down the street, the more sight and sound start to mix, evoking memories that may be hiding deep in your mind.

Turning toward the sound of cans clashing, you find two vending machines that are popping out several juice cans.

You exit the alley onto the main street and see a large cicada in the middle of the road. You wonder what it’s thinking as it continuously creeks at the same spot. There is no sign of other people or cars.
As you come out onto another street, you get drenched in a sudden evening shower. Even in the virtual space, you can smell the midsummer rain beat against the asphalt and evaporate in the air.

Even though it is the first time you have come to this place, you are filled with a nostalgic feeling, as if you have been here before, no matter which street you take or which corner you turn.

The Piecing Together of Patchy Memories

Daisuke Kobayashi of Parco Entertainment Division, a jury member of the NEWVIEW AWARDS 2022, stated the following about this work:

The work’s disjointed, photogrammetric appearance and lifelessness gave the impression of a dystopia, while at the same time, it was oddly pleasant to feel a sense of utopia, a sort of theme park, with a variety of spaces with different purposes compactly grouped together. I felt that the image of a city that exists vaguely in people’s memories might be similar to this kind of piecing together of memorable scenes.

— Via the official NEWVIEW website

The chirping of cicadas, sudden evening showers, and countless cans coming out of vending machines — these environmental sounds trigger vivid memories in you, and the patchy textures infiltrate the scenery in Semi Memory.

Being inside this scene makes you feel nostalgic, even though you have never been there before. The nostalgia you feel is the same nostalgia I feel — we are all in the same semi-memory.

How to Experience an AR Scene

If you are accessing this page from a smartphone, tap the “Try Now” button.
If you are using STYLY for the first time, please also refer to the instructions below.

Try Now

After tapping “Try Now,” you will be redirected to a page like below.
If you have already downloaded the STYLY Mobile app, select “Activate in STYLY app.”

If you are accessing this page from a PC web browser, first click the “Try Now” button to open the scene page.
Then, in the scene page, click “Experience in AR” and scan the QR code with your smartphone to launch the scene on the STYLY Mobile app.


Download the STYLY Mobile app



For those who want to know more about how to experience the scene:
For more information on how to experience AR scenes, please refer to the following article.

Edited by SASAnishiki
Translated by cpnnn