Speculations On A Pandemic

Barcelona- ES

Speculations On A Pandemic

COVID-19 took us all by surprise. How do we come to terms with the abrupt changes forced upon us by confinement? How can we deflect its paralysing effects on our lives and minds, and turn it into a creative force instead? This project confronts fears, doubts and concerns by formalising them into a collection of faux advertisements.

A Psychological Laboratory

SOAP is an initiative of MEATS ELISAVA. As a program working extensively with public space and citizen engagement, confinement hit them very hard. The relation between students, the faculty, citizens and stakeholders became very limited. Personal difficulties and emotional realities surfaced brutally in unexpected ways. They found the need to find a way to vent, in order to cope. Their first instinct was to turn this difficulty into a design project, of a non-curricular, purely vital kind: to express confused feelings, nagging fears and uncertain hopes so that they could be shared and addressed. Distilling individual fleeting psychological landscapes into a rigid format, combining graphics and text, proved helpful. The result is a humbling map of collective fears and hopes.

Better Stuttering than Silence

Although SOAP appeared as meditations in an emergency, its lifespan has extended into the incipient new normality we are collectively exploring. Taking cues from both advertising and hermetic traditions, SOAP combines puzzle pictures and linguistic riddles to access, often in indirect and roundabout ways, uncharted territories of personal emotions. Taking a position, as active citizens, in complex questions such as those exposed by the COVID-19 crisis, should not be limited to formal statements and polished responses. More often than not, this leads to silence. 

SOAP is a collaborative work-in-progress that lets us overcome silence and turn stuttering into a viable way of expressing ourselves, sharing and communicating, with the aim of collectively addressing the wicked problems of our societies.

  • Porteurs de projet/Project holders :ELISAVA DESIS Lab, MEATS (Master en Architecture Éphémère et Espaces Temporaires/ Master’s degree in EphemeralArchitecture and Temporary Spaces)
  • Designers :Roger Paez, Toni Montes, Manuela Valtchanova, Curro Claret&étudiants de MEATS/ MEATS students