in 2020, ethnographer and industrial designer paula zuccotti launched the ‘future archaeology of a global lockdown’ project, in an attempt to create a lockdown time capsule in the form of a photographic collection. working within the confines of quarantine and with the help of social media, she invited people from all over the world to join and visually respond to the question: ‘what are the fifteen things that are helping you get through this?’. a year later, she has created an extensive, comprehensive lockdown record featuring over 1,000 images from 50 countries.

paula zuccotti records quarantine essentials around the globe with photographic lockdown time capsule
image by luca pozzi, italy

in the submissions that zuccotti received, within the numerous quarantine essentials from people all around the globe, one can find both striking similarities and differences. children, teenagers, and older generations took pictures of the items most important to them, and accompanied them with a title and a personal narrative that supports the objects. the collections reveal the diversity of human experiences and points of views, while demonstrating how simple, everyday objects can tell extraordinary stories about our lives. 

paula zuccotti records quarantine essentials around the globe with photographic lockdown time capsule
image by vittoria tedaldi, spain

the project takes shape as an archive of mindful reflections that capture this extraordinary moment in time, with the photographs providing an honest and raw look at life during lockdown. objects that might have a stigma attached were openly shared including sleeping pills, antidepressants, books on mental health, sex toys and alcohol. ‘as someone who believes in the power of objects to tell our stories, I was eager to document the items we were using not just to create a time capsule for future generations, but also to find out what these items could tell us about ourselves and our present circumstances’ paula zuccotti shares. 

paula zuccotti records quarantine essentials around the globe with photographic lockdown time capsule
image by rina goto, japan

paula zuccotti records quarantine essentials around the globe with photographic lockdown time capsule
image by chloe coulson, UK

paula zuccotti records quarantine essentials around the globe in photographic time capsule
image by liliana cadena, colombia

paula zuccotti records quarantine essentials around the globe in photographic time capsule
image by manuela paz, uruguay

paula zuccotti records quarantine essentials around the globe in photographic time capsule
image by philly clark, UK

paula zuccotti records quarantine essentials around the globe in photographic time capsule
image by ayrton okayima, argentina

paula zuccotti records quarantine essentials around the globe in photographic time capsule
image by sibei chen, china

paula zuccotti records quarantine essentials around the globe in photographic time capsule
image by afizu, malaysia

paula zuccotti records quarantine essentials around the globe in photographic time capsule
image by benedict quartey, ghana

project info: 

name: future archaeology of a global lockdown
by: paula zuccotti

myrto katsikopoulou I designboom

apr 28, 2021