Visualising brainwaves in 3D

An investigation on how brainwaves’ data can be used to produce unexpected and surprising forms and objects.

Designed by Ben Jack and Edgar Rodriguez, this project scans people’s brainwaves and translates them into three-dimensional shapes.

The 3D shapes relate to the levels of relaxation or stress from the participants: if they feel relaxed, the shapes are robust and strong; but if participants are stressed, the shapes become thin and weak, they may break. The textures respond to the level of gamma brainwaves, which are linked to tactile experiences.

This experiment investigates issues surrounding the intention of the designer. The shapes are produced without the designer knowing what to expect. How much can designers control the elements of surprise? How much can they leave to other contextual factors such as people’s participation?

Visualising brainwaves in 3D was first exhibited at the International DesForm 2012 Conference Exhibition, in Wellington, New Zealand.

The project uses an electroencephalogram scanner to read people’s brainwaves. The brainwaves data are translated into 3D shapes through a software that we developed.

The 3D shapes are printed on site and a collective lamp made out of all the participants’ brainwaves is produced.

If people are relaxed, the system will produce robust and strong shapes. If people are not relaxed, the shapes will be thin and weak, they might break.

The textures are produced based on gamma waves, which are correlated to tactile experiences.

© edgar rodriguez 2014