Salone del Mobile in Milan is the biggest design and furnishing exposition, combining innovation and forecasting while showcasing the best international work and ideas. Every year a part of this grand exposition is dedicated to design and technology on the work floor, with this years theme being ‘Workspace 3.0 – A Joyful Sense at Work.
The ‘Workspace 3.0’ exhibition is curated by Cristina Cutrona and presents the 4 best projects who look at the work place in an innovative way. The year our Lab’s interactive installation ‘ RESET’ (Responsive Emotional Transformation) is featured in collaboration with UNStudios and Scape.
The RESET pods are designed to decrease the stress levels in the workplace. Stress is becoming a more frequent problem, putting a strain on the quality of work and life. These workspaces (pod’s) tackle the users stress levels by approaching it in several ways, based on the neurological research of Dr. Teresa de Sanctis (PhD Neuroscientist). The concept is created by Amsterdam based Scape and designed by UNStudios. Our Lab and Sound teams are responsible for the technical and creative realisation of these pods. During the design process a strong focus goes to the importance of
architecture and design in creating physical, social and psychological healthy spaces.
For Salone del Mobile two of the five prototype workspaces are developed. The ‘Intimacy’ pod has a vivacious approach and creates a meditative atmosphere, which is in contrary to the ‘Sound’ pod that has an expressive setting and an interactive approach.
Controlled by your heart rhythm
The small floating spaces take the user on a short abstract journey controlled by the information provided through the EEG monitor (electric signals in your brain) and the user’s heart rhythm. Visually the spaces are surrounded by an abundance of colours combining light and darker spots. The visual stimulant is combined with compatible music simultaneously defining the experience. The colours and music are controlled by the data received through the bluetooth EEG set and heart monitor. This information is processed to control the LED and music installation surrounding the pod, making each experience unique and personal. This data is stored in the cloud, giving the employer the opportunity to use this new input to improve the workplace to a less stressful environment.
The Intimacy pod takes you on a relaxing journey, the Sound pod does the opposite. The second pod needs interaction through drum sets and brighter points to trigger
the music and visuals. The pods are equipped with a Kinect sensor that follows every movement and translates these movements to new currents of music and colours. The music is composed by Joep Meijburg, one of our in-house composers and sound designers.
An organic feeling
The music of these pods is a combination between a soundscape and musical tones, explains Meijburg. “Together with Diederik Veelo, Head of Innovation, I looked for sounds that are calming but fit different heart rhythms. When the user has a fast heart rhythm, more dissonant tones stimulate a
calming mood. I started off recording acoustic instruments, which I later estranged with the Eurorack module. This creates an abstract but still musical sound. The module uses a sound, slows it down and subsequently plays bytes and manipulates these. Because the source is acoustic the organic feeling stays without becoming distant.”
To align the music, visuals and technique the pods are first built in virtual reality (VR) during the test phase. This is an interesting new purpose, using VR rather as a tool in the design process than the end result. By building the pods in VR during the design phase the interaction can be measured in real time and therefore improved at any moment.