Spaces for Dark Emotions

Spaces for Dark Emotions
Photographed by Julia Park
A play-to-feel f(r)ictional experience with our dark emotions and materiality. How can we build new narratives through tactility and intuition?

Julia Park
Barcelona, Spain
Team members
Julia Park
Field of work
Architecture, Design, Research
Project category
Raising awareness
Project submitted

Julia Park is an architect and designer interested in a Social Emotional Revolution. Her intention is to facilitate the sharing of our difficult emotional experiences so this cultural shift can be provoked. To achieve that, she helps people translate their abstract thinking into a conscious thinking, by pairing material activation with experimental interaction. She strongly believes that collective courage and empathy can be built through an interactive and creative process of awareness.

Although the academic journey would give her the tools to articulate her creative thinking, it is her personal path of self-awareness that gave a deeper purpose for what she wants to contribute with her work. She cares about people overcoming their vulnerabilities and transforming that into a source of deep empowerment.

The attention to care, active listening and radical empathy structure her work ethics which coincide with the objective of the projects and the tone of the methodology applied. The methodology itself is based on a first person perspective research and prototyping processes, manipulating different materials and exploring techniques of craftsmanship and digital fabrication.

The collective sharing of experiences is another essential element to her work, because it is the most important component for the social transformation. Finding different platforms and mediums to build collective empathy is what makes her immersed into finding a proper and sensitive narrative to projects like Casting Shadows.

This book is a branch project from the "Casting Shadows: a play-to-feel board game with our inner beasts". The board game has a proposal of creating a comfortable collective environment for sharing experiences related to these emotional vulnerabilities situations and building empathy towards the participants. It starts with an intuitive exercise or representation of theses feeling on a landscape board through material objects that should evoke those emotions by their touch.

For the "Spaces for Dark Emotions" book proposal, I'd like to play a 101 game version of Casting Shadows, with nine different participants to cast the nine archetypes of Shadows of the game: the dog, the rat, the scorpion, the shark, the snake, the spider, the parasite, the termites and the vulture. The participants would be invited by an open-call and go through a survey that would filter and help match which each Shadow. Part of the budget will be destined to the participants. The experiment will be documented as transciptions and could either be in the book as it is, or could be translated into nine short-story essays.

The structure for the book would be the following:
1. Introduction
2. How can we play if we want to survive?
3. The Shadows
3.1. The Dog
3.2. The Rat
3.3. The Scorpion
3.4. The Shark
3.5 The Snake
3.6. The Spider
3.7 The Parasite
3.8 The Termites
3.9 The Vulture
4. Spacial f(r)iction for building empathetic narratives
5. Final Considerations

My interest in this project is about the interactive character it has and how we can translate this into a new language of sensorial understanding. It is about finding new ways to dialogue from an intuitive methodology about our human experiences. This is what I call "the creative process of awareness" and how I think it contributes to a Social Emotional Revolution.