Wetlands is an interactive ecosystem based on brainwaves
Lucy Hardcastle Studio created Wetlands, a new interactive ecosystem, poetically visualizing living data, and user interactions.
Having used the lockdown period as an opportunity to define the studio’s mission, values, and brand identity, Lucy Hardcastle Studio is unveiling a new website incorporating an interactive feature, based on a data visualization of her own brainwaves. Wetlands is a self-initiated project that outlines the vision and approach of the studio.
By combining Lucy’s own neurological responses to material tactility with the user’s own interactions on the site, the project creates a unique digital landscape that constantly shifts in colour and form as the two data sources intersect. Developed in consultation with specialists in the field of neuroscience, the project takes Lucy’s personal response to sensory materials as its starting point.
A wearable headset was used to track electrical activity in her brain, as well as heart-rate and breath-rate, during stimulating experiences with different surfaces while in a closed-eye meditative state. These data were compiled into linear waves, graphs and cross-sections, which were then translated into a 3D landscape–a spectrum of colour and wave movement that acts almost like a 3D graph.
This landscape captures Lucy’s responses to a range of material textures, including glass, suede, acetate, slime, silicone rubber, sandpaper, and silk, translating her brainwaves and other bodily data into high-points and valleys, rock pools of fluid and flurries of different colored particles.
If you want to know more about data driven designs, don’t miss Making Data Matter: MIT Media Lab creates data-sculptures with multi-layered 3D printing.
Accessing the site, the user is brought into this realm, and encouraged to play with their surroundings. As they navigate the 360º digital space, their interactions disperse color and trigger wave motions in correlation with the data, creating mini-ecosystems or tides. The more the user plays with the pools, the more they spread and melt into the landscape, creating a flooded effect, with the outcome of an ever-changing digital environment.
“For our new identity, we were inspired by the importance of presence, as a way to represent how we ‘bring the human’ into our practice. In order to feel connected and personal to the foundations of the studio, we chose to use my sensitivity to materials as an area of exploration and data extraction, creating a visualized algorithm that is as much living and breathing as I am. The outcome is a digital landscape in a constant state of change between the data and the individual user’s input.”
Curious to know more about interactive designs? The Neural Mirror installation creates an AI-based reflection of viewers.