You've Got Me Feeling Compassions,2022

Interactive Experience Social Advocacy Speculative Design Art Direction 2 weeks 2022

An Interactive experience promoting empathy and self-reflection when witnessing others' pains.

This exhibition explores the transformation of one individual's journey from outrage to action in response to the Xuzhou Chained Woman Incident. It examines the societal tendency to normalize injustices such as sex trafficking, the personal and collective struggle with empathy burnout, and the discovery of compassion as a more sustainable response. Through a blend of personal narrative, research, and interactive experiences, visitors are invited to understand the differences between empathy and compassion, and how the latter can inspire positive social change.

Take a Look at the Documentation ︎︎︎

Why Do People Not Care About Human Traffikcing Incidents?

Some individuals reacted with a dismissive "mind your own business" stance, which appeared to trivialize sex trafficking. Initially, I interpreted this response as evidence of humanity's malevolence and began seeking solutions from that perspective. However, further research helped me understand that this indifference is partly due to a reluctance to empathize, given the emotional exhaustion that can arise from continuously engaging with others' suffering.

What are the Solutions for Avoiding Emotional Exhaustion When Responding to Injustice?

I discovered an alternative to empathy in Buddhist tradition—compassion. From my observations and secondary research, I created an experience that helps people intuitively understand the difference between empathy and compassion. This approach also introduces compassion as a more sustainable emotional response to social issues, aiming to inspire positive change.

How Do Human Response to Injustice?

Through analysis of people's comments on sex trafficking incidents, I categorized their emotions into four distinct groups. Leveraging both my secondary research and observations, I endeavored to correlate their attitudes and prospective behaviors with specific emotions, subsequently representing these emotions through graphical language. It's important to note that emotions are often not easily compartmentalized into one or two categories. Individuals typically assess their capabilities and the potential outcomes of their actions before experiencing emotions and deciding on a course of action. As a result, I view the interplay among these four emotions as akin to four points along a continuum.

Digital Prototype ︎︎︎

Iteration and Testing on Site ︎︎︎

Final Deliverable ︎︎︎

Final Thoughts

This project marked a series of firsts for me: it was my first foray into visualizing emotions, my deepest dive into interactive projects, and my initial attempt to engage with the pressing social issues around us. Through this experience, we challenged ourselves to investigate the possibilities within both spatial and print formats. Driven by our ambition, we not only pursued creativity but also explored the use of emotion as both a tool and a medium. This method allowed us to effectively convey messages, turning emotions into a visual language that deeply connects with and significantly affects our audience.

Looking forward, I am excited to explore the integration of subjective content—enriching both societal and individual narratives—into users' personal stories. This journey seeks to merge the communal and the individual in ways that are meaningful and impactful.