The design of the Brain Wave Sofa is the result of a brain wave scan measured by means of an electro-encephalogram (EEG), using a set of electrodes connected to the head. A computer application for neuro-feedback displays the data as a 3D landscape image , in which the depth is the frequency of brain-activity in Hertz, the height is the strength of the signal and the length is the progression of time (duration).
In this record and display mechanism, the role of the 'designer' is challenged; even by looking at the 3D visuals, you are directly influencing your design. In this case Maassen produced (created) the landscape by opening and closing his eyes while undergoing measurement of a specific wavelength known as the Alpha activity (8-12 Hertz). The Alpha activity is peculiar because when you close your eyes it strengthens, in contrast to other brain activity that declines. This is to prepare your brain for the large input of signals when you open your eyes.
The resulting 3-second computer file 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 has only to close his eyes and a computer 'prints out' (processes) the result as a functional form. The materials, warm grey felt and buttoned facings are applied by hand to the foam, honoring the traditional character of a sofa.
The Brainwave Sofa is a collaboration with Dries Verbruggen (UNFOLD).
from: Lucas Maassen