How can biofeedback technology impact and influence stress releasing properties in surfaces and environments?


Bio Mirror

Well-being has become an ever-expanding concern for both the public and private sector, creating an exciting new field of exploration and research for designers.

In 2018, and notably in a pre-Covid era, already almost 1,3 million Dutch people experienced symptoms of professional burn-out


In collaboration with environmental psychologist Renske Bongers, we aim to develop interior products that are proven to contribute to individual health and happiness. In our research, we focus on examining the perception of stress in the working and living environments, while investigating components of an environment that can induce stress-reducing effects coupled with relaxing outcomes. Incorporating these elements into walls or installations, we have created a sensory experience, with interactive options, which carry with it simultaneously the reverberations of something equivalent to a power nap. Whether a recharge or just a boost, energy is renewed and regained throughout the space, and finally there is a moment for calm, relaxation and rest.


A+N consciously play with the external influence of surfaces in a production that is completely unconscious to the space. Perception is present throughout foreground and background, and the individual experience is enhanced by triggering certain stimuli. This balance, based on Adaptation Level Theory, which sets out how human beings function more pleasantly through combinations of high and low level stimuli, has been combined with one truly simple inspiration: nature. Something that slightly moves or makes a sound, does not need immediate attention or reaction, which are just some reflections based on Attention Restoration Theory and the Aquarium effect. Consider the wind blowing through the leaves, or the ripples cascading across the surface of a lake, maybe even fish in an aquarium. Seeing, listening or feeling these ever-so slight stimuli serves as a premise to keep our brain active without thinking or even noticing, while producing undeniable spaces of serenity. 


Surface of Sound 

Surface of Sound is an interactive installation that reaches out to the senses and encourages an exploration of the environment. Upon getting close or even gently touching this 3D surface, various sounds are revealed, and the installation comes to life kind of like an instrument being played between viewer and object. The activation of the senses enables a release from the never-ending treadmill of work, and permits a reentry into the professional space with a refreshing and energizing outlook. Again the Attention Restoration Theory and the Aquarium Effect were inspirations for this project by using touch, sight and hearing, which enhance a restorative and exhilarating experience.


............to be continued