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The Projected Mind

Master Thesis Project

Supervised by Wolfgang Tschapeller, Werner Skvara

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, 2019

The Thesis is experimenting the relation between brain linked technology and spatial translations. On the one hand the project deals with the research on the human mind and the analytical decoding of brain signals by using the EEG (Electroencephalography) based technology. On the other hand it is questioning how feedback based design could be triggered by cognitive processes in a virtual context. In this scenario brain signals of the user are translated into digital animated shapes that might remind us of landscapes. From here on the geometry expands and transforms in a constant but slow evolving process. The result is a geometrical configuration which responds to behavioral rules. Within this “traces of the mind”, the project takes the fictional place where a language between simulation and cognition is being established and the shapes actively react on the communication and control deriving from mental states.

In this scenario brain signals are transmitted to the simulation. The project uses EEG (Electroencephalography) based technology from neuroscientific and psychological research to connect the human and the simulation.  

The human is seen as a subject, a source, a machine, and a continuous biochemical process, which maintains life in the body. The continuous heartbeat, which we can count in a certain time interval is one example of the data  we can gather from our bodily processes.

The brain data measured with the EEG device is used as input source fed into a script. Here the data gets translated into animated shapes that might remind us of landscapes.  The user experiences his brain activity in a virtual realm with various structural layers, representing various stages of simulative parameters and data in their stochastic nature. In relation to the formation, the direct influence and redirection of one’s own brain signals decrease with the depth of each layer. Continuity and overall control of the person’s own cognitive nature prevail over the actuality of a certain brain activity state. From points becoming clusters, to the connection of these particles to lines, and further to triangles, which are resulting to voluminous formations with others and the self.

The geometry gets detached from its primary design values as dimension, unit, volume and surface, creating an environment where the design itself is not defined by the formulated output, but rather by the behavioral definition and procedural algorithm. The architectural design process becomes the creation of a formula, rather than the solution of an equation.

COPYRIGHT MANUEL BONELL 2021