What if our spaces could convey information about unspoken feelings and could be the extension of mind and body? How can we create a reciprocal relationship between the human mind, body, and the built environment, allowing them to shape one another?’
Wisteria is an extension of its visitors’ mind and body.
It is an emotive intelligent installation that perform real-time responses to people’s emotions, based on biological and neurological data. In this project, visitors can change the color and form of the installation using their brain and emotions. We integrated artificial intelligence (AI), wearable technology, sensory environments, and adaptive architecture to create an emotional bond between a space and its occupants and encourage affective emotional interactions between the two.
Here, space is filled with a forest of cylindrical fabric shrouds that suspend from the ceiling.
Upon sensing the presence of an occupant, using a programmable material (shape-memory-alloy), the shrouds begin to fluctuate, expanding and contracting the volume of the space in rhythm and sequence. Embedded within each shroud is an LED that activates with a breathing rhythm synced with the actuation of the SMA. The shrouds are arranged to create a distinct spatial progression and bring forth a heightened perception of scale and awareness of oneself within the space.
Using Affective computing or “Emotion AI,” this project created a cyber-physical space that blurs the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. The atmospheric qualities of the space are determined by the occupant’s emotions detected in real-time using smart wearable and affective computing algorithms developed by the team. This system translates a set of biometrics (e.g.
heart rate, skin electricity, blood volume, and temperature) into emotional categories and changes the shape, light, and color of the space accordingly to moderate the emotion. If stress is detected, space begins to morph; the ceiling rises and expands the interior volume, colors brighten and natural air is introduced, and in the process, an empathetic bond is formed between host and occupant.
Wisterias uses real-time emotions from neurophysiological data as the agent of change in the environment.
Wisteria intends to behave as an embodiment of human emotion in the physical and built form. Utilizing a merger of advanced emotion detection systems and smart programmable materials, a new connection is revealed between host and occupant.
Within Wisteria, the user is given agency and autonomy over the space through which they traverse, shedding light on the potential of future integrations between architecture and artificial intelligence. Wisteria can be used to express and solicit emotions through non-human representation, becoming an effective tool for the communication of emotions.
Wisteria illustrates how spaces can serve as an interface with emotions.
The end result is an immersive spatial experience that gives the user a key role by activating the space upon their involvement. Users are given an indication of their emotional and physiological states, and thus a tool to enhance, mitigate, or simply become aware of their emotions. This installation demonstrates how spaces can be controlled through users’ thoughts and feelings, becoming living organisms with lifelike behavior learned from users, responding to their needs in real time.
Within this project lies a singular objective; to reconcile the relationship between humans and architecture, and to redefine this relationship as one of emotional empathy and active compassion. Video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhOalZiI4ok&t=2s.