Unless you're a hermit living under a rock, you almost certainly spend your days passing in and out of spaces crafted for human use. You leave a bedroom designed for sleeping and go to a bathroom designed for washing and... you know. You enter an office designed for working or a store designed for buying. It's easy to forget just how much the space we're in shapes us. So this week's show is a cold-water, slap on the face, static-electric jolt reminder of just how powerfully spaces can affect the way we think and act. We have stories about paranoia in an outhouse, ghosts in an abandoned building, conformity at the mall, creativity in the classroom, memories in an apartment, and the space that separates us from everyone else, until it doesn't.
Host: Rachel Hamburg
Producers: Rachel Hamburg, Charlie Mintz
Featuring: Alexis Petty, Larry Leifer, Kai Carlson-Wee, Chelsey Little, Aaron Thayer
In a neighborhood in England, a man designed a house that suited his taste for fantasy. Host Rachel Hamburg got to visit this place of pure whimsy. This is what she learned about living inside that space.
This is a story about an art project designed to recreate an important space. Alexis asked her godmother, Barbara, about a location that meant something to her. Barbara chose a corner in her mother's Manhattan apartment. Alexis brought that corner to San Francisco.
Story 4: I Heard Men Talking About Trying to Kill Me
Spaces can do incredible things to help us be smarter, more productive, happier. They can also really screw with our heads. This next story is about the space inside in an outhouse, in a cabin in the middle of the woods, and about a space inside our heads we'd rather not go.
On Stanford campus there is an abandoned chemistry building that some students say is haunted. So of course groups of them check it out every year. Some of them go and don't see anything unusual. Others have a more interesting experience.
Some people's idea of a spooky place is an abandoned building. Others think of one thing: the mall. You can step into a mall in Virginia and feel like you're in California. Host Rachel Hamburg interviews Stanford student Aaron Thayer, who saw the creation of one of these malls, Reston Town Center, firsthand.
Of all the spaces we craft, the space between ourselves and other people might be the most fragile, or the most resilient. Modern life teaches us that we can be inches from another person and not have to exchange one word. Strangers stay strangers, at least, unless you're Chelsey Little.
The Storytelling Project is supported by the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts, the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Stanford Introductory Studies, Stanford Continuing Studies, and the Program in Writing and Rhetoric.