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Reshape a building with your thoughts

Posted by Kevin Hartnett  May 10, 2013 12:06 PM

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Last month I wrote about an interactive light installation in Milan and noted that there seems to be no end to these types of projects. But just when you're feeling a little jaded, here come two installations with a fresh twist on the genre. The first is the Rain Room, which opens at the Museum of Modern Art in New York this weekend, and lets visitors walk through a field of falling water without getting wet. The second (video and pictures below) is Cerebral Hut, at the Istanbul Museum of Art this month.

A hut, of course, is a primitive kind of structure while cerebral connotes abstraction. So how do the two work together? The Turkish architecture firm Ozel Office "hacked" a commercially available headset that measures brain waves and blink rates, and wrote a program that connects that data to a hut made from kinetic building materials. The more a visitor to the installation concentrates, the more the hut pulses and contorts. The result, according to the creators, is the first "moving architecture that directly responds to human thought." They also note that Cerebral Hut has the quality of a video game environment, which raises the fun possibility of using side-by-side cerebral huts to conduct staring competitions (whoever's hut bends farthest and longest wins) or engage in concentration art displays, where judges assess the concentration patterns that produce the most interesting architectural changes.


Cerebral 2.jpg

Cerebral 3.jpg

Images courtesy of Ozel Office.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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