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Brief Published: 5 Aug 2014

Brain-Responsive Gemstones


Developed in collaboration with Austrian cut-lead glass producer Swarovski, London-based exploratory material lab The Unseen has designed an experimental headpiece covered in gemstones that change colour to visualise the wearer’s brain activity.

The headpiece is crafted from lab-grown spinel stones that have been coated in heat-responsive, colour-changing ink. The stones act as conduction insulators and absorb the heat lost through the head, causing the stones to change from black to orange, red to green and blue to purple.

“We discovered the pattern formation in the colour of each stone evolves throughout the day; this fluctuates over areas of the brain in use,” explains Lauren Bowker, founder of The Unseen. “When worn, the headpiece becomes a reflection of the inner human thought.”

For further inspiration on transformative effects, see our Materials Focus 2015-16 concept Responsive, and the Colour Spectrum Spring/Summer 2016 rationale Interact.