Body, Sense, Experience and Sympathy

Visualization of geographic information creates maps. Geographical information is based on facts and perceptions of the space we experience directly or indirectly, so visualizing it can be seen as a description of the geographical area and community on which we are based.

Sympathy is expressed in the sharing of sensation and experience, and experience is manifested in activities using the body. I will do a mapping from the final to multigenerational space, especially for the open spaces. I test how the experience can be mapped into space with this project. The data for the mapping will be set based on the questionnaire about feelings and experiences of people when they use the specific spaces.

Experiences are narrated through the interpretation of the senses of individuals when they collect that themselves. Therefore, if we collect senses from some standards and analyze how they interpret them, we can look at the various issues that our society is experiencing. So I start with a relatively small step, mapping from the human body, and look at the direction in which it expands.

The most direct and well-known sensory map would be Penfield’s brain map. Wilder Penfield’s brain map and homunculus model show the importance of sensory and motor nerves linked to the human brain. Most of the nerve cells are present in the function of the hands and feet, and the brain cells are matched for each function. As we already know, the body that the brain perceives is very different from the objective body. The results of Penfield’s doll making a body map recognized by the brain reveal that the actual human body is different from the actual body it recognizes.

It is a ‘body sense map’ that shows the body’s activity according to some emotions. The researchers presented the subjects with two black silhouettes. Then, after presenting a situation that caused a certain emotion word or such emotion, I asked to see the active part in one silhouette and to mark the part in which the other silhouette is inactive. And I combined the data obtained to create a sense of body sense map.

These examples do not include geographic information, but it is noteworthy that it maps the body from a unique perspective. I think these two examples show that information pieces about the human body and its senses can gather and affect emotions. In other words, the collection of senses stimulates the imagination of sympathy by the person reading it, leading to a kind of common feeling.

Christian Nold collected people’s emotions and their experiences from 2004 to 2008 under the title Bio Mapping / Emotion Mapping and mapped them to a map of a specific area. More than 2,000 people have participated in the project, and participants in the workshops have re-explored their communities. He has utilized his ingenious methodology in various fields of art, community development, science research, architectural planning and large-scale political consultations.

In post-production, the amount of data increases and the map becomes more complex. The San Francisco emissive map and the Stockport emotion map used the degrees of physical arousal as indicators of red columns and circles, respectively. However, the two maps are distinctly different. In the former, emotions are expressed using only simple shapes, while in the latter, the text is delivered along with drawing in a style that a child would draw.

What I have noticed is the power that a reader of the text can get when similar content is delivered in a different way. Of course, both projects are clear. However, there is no doubt that the latter is more sensitive. The small letters on the map summarize the memories and histories people have with their families or neighbors. Simple sentences and pretty emotional articles can be also found easily.

This is the work of illustrator Max Degtyarev. The artist has a variety of people’s experiences and feelings during the day in the same space. He says that the meaning of the bench is more than “sitting down”. This space brings people together by the presence of a bench, which causes a variety of events. In the variation of this time, we can look at the senses that we could feel if we were in that space. I think they would have been pushed out of the tangible sensibility of the person who created the content. It just matched with some things that I think as an important part of my mapping project. I want to create the tangible presentation with emotional data based on senses.



I implemented three-dimensional data visualization as the prototype, by using the area of Manhattan’s open space and population density data from each community district. What I wanted to gain from this was to think about various data visualization media and to search for direction to support intergenerational playground research which is my thesis subject efficiently. The problem with the first project(3D printed) was that I just “visualized” the data and did not express my voice well. Also, the listing of these simple data could not enrich my research. So, the most important goal of the final project is to make the data I collect function as an answer to my design questions.

(This floor plan is the very first draft of what I want to have as an intergenerational playground.)