Stacking reminder is a cairn-like sculptural memo system that encourages users to organize their time emotionally through color, shape, and gravity. The color gradient indicates the urgency of the matter so that users can stack, write, and erase at ease to manage time in highly personal way.

Metaproject 10 Archival Award 
Year 2019  
Professor Josh Owen

The Vignelli Canon

In Massimo’s idea, “ambiguity is not a negative connotation of the form of vagueness. It is intended as a plural of meanings, and the possibilities of being read in different ways.” 

What is timeless design? 

Elicit appropriate emotions to create positive experience for the user.

Intended as plural of meanings and the possibility of being read in different ways.

Not just design for past and present, but also design for the future.

Commonly recognizable, and lasting for a long period.


I got inspiration from cairn (Stacking stone). The precarious nature of the stack relates to emotional attachment. When a task is urgent, it gives the same feeling as a stack about to tumble.

Writing on stones is a traditional action from ancient to communicate and express wishes. By applying the clear dry-erase paint, I would like to make stones writeable and erasable while keeping the color and shape of stones.

I went to Chimney Bluffs State Park in New York state and found some real stones to explore the form.

Form studies

Studied natural stones from Chimney Bluffs State Park and made a series of foam models from organic to geometric to purely abstract. Finally decided to use the one in the middle because it has a stable structure, and keeps the cairn shape.


Use gradient change to demonstrate the urgency of matters. Choose four primary colors for commercial use: Youtube red, Snapchat yellow, WhatsApp green, and Twitter blue, to build a closer relationship between products and users.

Model making

Stacking reminder is made of pine. Through wood gluing, woodcutting, primer applying, sanding, airbrush color coating, clear primer applying, clear dry-erase paint applying, and seven days curing, the Stacking reminder is an experimental product that is fun to use.

Painting reminder

Painting Reminder is the process art of Stacking reminder. I put a heavyweight drawing paper as a protection mat underneath my work during the airbrush process. The expressive marks on the paper are layers of airbrush paint, airbrush cleaner, brush strokes, and water. I applied the remained clear dry-erase paint on the surface to create a painting reminder. Users can write and erase on the painting and the history of abstract expressionism.


The stacking reminder comes four primary colors for commercial use. Each color combination is made up of five gradient blocks. They can be placed individually or stacked together. By applying clear dry-erase paint, Users can write and erase to manage time in a highly personal way.