< Back to front page Text size +

Reshape a building with your thoughts

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

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

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.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

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.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.

Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


Browse this blog

by category