The Republic of Privacy

Striving for absolute privacy, 2013

Soomi Park (UK)

07.08.15 – 01.11.15

The Republic of Privacy

The Republic of Privacy is a fictional nation where people can live in absolute privacy. It starts with a simple question: What kinds of new systems are needed to guarantee a life that is one hundred percent private?

This project attempts to examine three privacy issues: How to respect individual boundaries in the sharing of personal information, how to be free from written personal data storage and how to be free from identity analysis by unknown observers and organisations. It responds to these questions by imagining alternative systems to the ones we currently use. ‘Identity Marriage’ is a speculative marriage ritual where couples exchange their most private personal data, while ‘Sniffer Dog Authentication’ is an identification system that works on human odour.

The Republic of Privacy illustrates this speculative scenario through an anthropologist’s approach of examining physical-cultural elements of the society, such as technological applications, costumes, languages and mannerisms.


Soomi Park is a speculative designer and multimedia artist based in London in the United Kingdom and Seoul in South Korea. Through her work she explores the concept of new emotions emerging in our ever-changing society. She is currently doing a Ph.D. in Media and Arts Technology in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at the Queen Mary University of London. She completed her M.A. in Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art in London, and also received an M.A. in Digital Media Design from the International Design School of Advanced Studies at the Hongik University in Seoul. Her works have been included in several exhibitions around the world, such as the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne, the Queen Elizabeth Prize of Engineering, and Ars Electronica. She researches and explores the relationship between the human body and technology at her design consultancy, ReFlexLab, in London.

Q and A

What are the geographic coordinates of your favourite secret place?


What kinds of private information do you think will be valuable in 2050?

Personal scent.

Tell us two truths about yourself, and one lie.

I used to be a shopaholic (but not any more).

I don't like birds, I really don't.

I don't like babies.