The project draws upon the concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine, worldbuilding and storytelling through visual communication methods, capturing the stories and experiences around mental wellbeing that tend tobe discarded. From this, Leftover Feelings provides a space for reflection and representation, allowing individuals to explore their feelings more playfully. A formal workshop was held after various user testing sessions to gain insights and findings of the visual outcomes and engagements produced. The workshop consisted of 18 participants grouped in 3 to 4 people per session which ran for approximately.
To read more about the methodology and research, click here!
The Framework
Traditional Chinese Medicinal concepts and its herbs commonly used in soups acted as a framework for "the workshop, to represent the physical and mental aspects of mental wellbeing that is visualised through a soup. These concepts are packaged in the structure of a story in the workshop for users to follow and to integrate their own story into this provided narrative. Worldbuilding methods are also utilised to help shed light on the overlooked aspects of everyday life that users reflect upon to draw their own narratives from.
Below is the structure of the workshop consisting of its narrative, worldbuilding parameters, user journey and data plan to determine and organise its findings.
The Findings
The worlds created by the participants to reflect a chosen troubled time was grouped into three categories - the ideal (the world they sought), the in between
(a mix of the ideal and the reflective) and the reflective (a world that represents their troubled time through metaphor).
It was unexpected to see ideal worlds being created and the thought put into the worlds was surprising. A participant commented creating worlds helped put their experience into a different perspective through recontextualising, allowing them to better understand it. The world-building played a more important role than expected, containing the intricacies of the participants' stories.
Participants were tasked to create their own ingredient for their soup which seeks to represent a feeling they experienced in their selected troubled time. These ingredients were grouped on a spectrum of negative to positive, and how often they were used in the participant's soup visualisations.
Surprisingly, many had created more positive emotions, likely seeking agency in these times where the most common emotions were comfort and calm. Some participants also drew upon their personal experiences and cultural narratives in creating these ingredients, enriching their stories.
The soups the participants created were grouped as reflections (a visualisation that represented their feelings in their created world) or a remedy (a visualisation that sought comfort or agency). Most of the soups were remedies, highlighting how these acts of making and reflecting can be a form of sensemaking and play to help us reflect and explore our emotions in more palatable forms.
A massive thank you to all the participants involved who contributed their leftover feelings to this project.