For the past two years, headlines and realities of the global COVID-19 pandemic has brought stress, worry and loss. To varying degrees, nearly everyone is carrying a burden, with degrading mental health as a result. The Feelings Library by CAUKIN Studio was a temporary installation designed to provide an outlet for emotional resolution.

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A straw covered rectangle structure called the Feelings Library with people standing in a line outside of it

For three weeks in December 2021, the Feelings Library sat as a temporary pop-up in London, England. CAUKIN Studio collaborated with Self Space and Skip Gallery to create a space where passersby could drop in and share their feelings. 

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A straw-covered structure sits in a walk area filled with pedestrians

The space was built from materials that are biodegradable. It can also be recycled for the next project CAUKIN Studio has lined up — a design and construction workshop with a school. 

A woman sits on a bench with a fold out table where she is writing in a journal and next to her are bookshelves

Inside, there was a small sitting area with bookshelves. On the shelves were ten books, each labeled with common feelings and emotions. Inside each book, therapists wrote prompts to encourage thoughts and provided space to journal. The idea centers around connectivity and an understanding that, although each person feels they are alone in their stress, depression, sadness or anxiety, countless others are feeling the exact same way. 

A rendering of the inside of the Feelings Library which includes a small sitting area and a wall of bookshelves

Meant to counter loneliness and isolation, visitors were encouraged to share within the pages of the journals. Not only did this allow for personal expression, but reading the words of others created a shared experience — a human experience. 

The inside of the Feelings Library is made out of wood

As stated in a press release, contributing to the journaling experience “helps explore and celebrate the universality and complexity of our feelings. Visitors, including children, had the opportunity to exchange emotions, offload their worries and share their inner thoughts.”

+ CAUKIN Studio

Photography by Aron Klein and Katie Edwards