Crying Rooms

Where do you cry?


University of Newcastle’s professor of architecture, Michael Chapman, had a speculative idea to build a machine with a social conscience – Crying Room.

Aiming to trigger a cathartic act of crying, the space is imagined to be filled with slices of onions for the crying stimulation. The room was described as humorous and surreal – an antidote for the troubling times.

Crying Room by Michael Chapman

Quoting Victor Hugo, professor Chapman’s entry for the Crying Room was conceptualized with the sentences:
”Those who do not weep, do not see.” (Les Misérables)

A modern form of a (crying) restaurant

By pulling on the handles from the crying room, the inhabitant initiates the guillotine action of the blades to slice the onions. Bellow the room the onion soup produced by The Crier is served to the community that gathers. Besides the onion action and comfortable chair, on the table, there is a bottle of whisky and a package of cigarettes.

The Crying room is portable and mobile, meant to be moved around the city on wheels – to wherever the need for weeping is.

Crying Room by Michael Chapman


”If you want to cry, go to the crying room”. Tackling mental health stigma in Spain’s capital, Madrid – welcome to La Lloreria (Crying room).

In 2019, 3,671 people died from suicide in Spain, the second most common cause of death after natural causes. One in 10 adolescents has been diagnosed with a mental health condition while 5.8% of the overall population suffers from anxiety, according to government data.

Crying Room, Copyright  JUAN MEDINA/REUTERS

From the crying corner to the signed as ”enter and cry” or ”I also have anxiety” the Crying Room is symbolizing anxiety, its acceptance, and solution. Mental health is still seen as taboo and should be banished – the work emphasizes.
Not just conceptual, but practical, La Lloreria has a corner with the number of people you can call when you are feeling down (e.g. psychologist).

The neon message on the cage reads: “I also have anxiety.”JUAN MEDINA/REUTERS

“It is a really excellent idea to visualize the mental health issue. It is stigmatized to cry in Spain as in many other countries.”

student from Madrid