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09-13, 2017

A multi sensory and futuristic work of art designed by the visual artist Julia von Stietencron that catches the eye and the heart of those who admire it. The human heart (being the only organ to reveal vibrations modelled by dynamically synchronised mechanical, electrical and molecular rhythms) is indeed what drives this interactive luminous-textile installation, which, thanks to special sensors, shows how the heart rate changes and turns the spectator into an explorer of the actual work of art itself. 

An oscilloscope captures the explorer’s Heart Rate Variability (HRV), or rather the oscillation in the time lapse between one heart beat and another at rest. A healthy person at rest will have a high HRV, indicating that the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems (which are responsible for accelerating and slowing down the heart rate and the blood pressure) work to balance each other. A fatigued or stressed person, on the other hand, will have a low and unbalanced HRV.

The HRV perceived is transmitted with changing electrical signals to the optical fibre network of the ZED fabric. According to the explorer’s state of mind, ZED will change colour, actually reflecting the feelings that drive the human heart. An acoustic mat helps the explorers to settle their heart rate: consequently, they will see distorted and stressed depictions turning into meditative harmonic sounds capable of restoring a coherent heart rate, at least temporarily, in people who may have lost it due to various psychological or physical reasons.

The ZED project not only creates a space with interactive functions for individuals and groups, but also increases the meditative wellbeing at the workplace.