The design of the Brain Wave Sofa is the result of a brain wave scan measured by means of an elektro-encefalogram (EEG) using a set of electrodes connected to the head. The data is represented as a 3d landscape by a computer application for neurofeedback, the depth is the frequency of the brain-activity in hertz, the height is the strength of the signal and the length is the timescale.
The role of the 'designer' is challenged in this procedure, by looking at the 3d visuals you are directly influencing your design. In this case Lucas controlled the form by opening and closing his eyes while measuring a specific wavelength known as the Alpha activity (8-12 Hertz). The Alpha activity is peculiar because it strengthens when you close your eyes in contrast to other brain activity that dims. This to prepare your brain for the large input of signals when you open your eyes.
The resulting 3 second computerfile is sent to a CNC milling machine that mills out the Brain Wave in soft foam. It is a tongue-in-cheek reference to a futuristic production workflow in which the designer only has to close his eyes and a computer 'prints' the result out as a functional form. A warm grey felt with buttons in the valleys is applied by hand to the foam honoring the traditional codes of a sofa.
Brain Wave Sofa is a collaboration between Lucas Maassen and Dries Verbruggen from Unfold and part of the Bits 'n Pieces exhibition in NYC.
Many thanks for their support: Giel Kaandorp of Marin, Anneke Hoogervorst of VanVilt, Frits van Soest of Recticel and the Flemish authorities for finacial support.