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Brief Published: 7 Apr 2014

Imagined Artwork

Mental Fabrications

New York-based artist Ion Popian creates 3D sculptures using brainwaves in an ongoing project exploring the creative power of the mind. With the help of a Neurosky headset – a device that reads EEG waves from the brain – Popian is creating a series of sculptures based on people's direct neuro-responses to a short film.

Participants are fitted with a Neurosky headset and watch a short film of visual stimulus while the device measures brain activity. The data is then converted into an undulating landscape using a 3D modelling programme, and printed using a 3D printer.

Trained as an architect, Popian sees the potential for EEG-based design to help create more responsive surroundings. "By using technology and mapping out electrical impulses that the brain transmits, we can quantify the emotions of an individual. By doing so on a mass scale, we can start finding patterns among all humans as they experience common spaces such as parks, schools, hospitals and airports," he told Stylus.

Mind control is becoming an increasingly strong influence in architecture and design. In 2012, Turkish-born architect Guvenç Ozel unveiled The Cerebral Hut – a kinetic installation that responds to brain activity. In product design, Dutch research-based designer Merel Bekking is using results from an MRI scanner to create designs based on brain activity.

For more on the potential commercial uses of mind control, and more innovative examples of brain-based design, take a look at our Macro Trend, Agile Futures.