My thesis aimed to understand why people require their own space and how it can influence people when it exists in various forms; physical space, mental space, and virtual spaces. This began with my personal story, a story about my memories and emotions, about building a blanket fort in my childhood, but I discovered that it could be expanded into many stories; stories that apply to many people. Stories that are universal because “personal space” is an instinct inherent in all human beings and a field that is still being wriggled and developed.
The first chapter discusses the impact of community spirit, an important traditional value in Korea, on personal space in Korean society. It leads to a story of how difficult it is to guarantee individual space in a typical Korean family and house form, and what is the unique culture derived from it. Any personal space, according to the second chapter, extends beyond physical territory into the psychological domain. People cognitively form their space with energy through accumulated time and memory. Finally, the third chapter is about how far the virtual world, an imaginary space, has progressed and how it has become an important part of our reality and daily lives, where people are strutting space and communicating with others regularly. Even though it is considered an intangible and invisible space, the emotions and experiences that occur there are all real, and should be considered.
The process of my research resembled a journey to find out when and where my desire for personal space began – which I have always wondered about. We might unconsciously remember that space in our mother’s womb from birth and try to replicate its form, its safety, its warmth and touch, aiming to recreate those emotions in life. We maybe keep trying to create an equally complete and comfortable space because we are living in a world full of the unstable and hazardous. In public space, we naturally create and reveal our own safety zone and space by establishing a certain distance from others to protect our bodies.
I am trying to find my comfort zone in the invisible bubble that surrounds me.