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Infographic of the Day: This Is Your Brain on Design

The designer sat down for a brain scan, thought of comfort–and turned the resulting pattern into a sofa.

Brain Wave Sofa

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It’s a brave new world for product design: Increasingly, designers are encoding reams of data into the designs themselves, using 3-D modeling technology and rapid prototyping. Recently, there was a bracelet encoded with a year’s worth of weather data. And next week, at the Bits ‘n’ Pieces exhibition, you’ll be able to see a couch crafted from brain scans.

Lucas Maassen and Dries Verbruggen created the piece by scanning Maassen’s brain for three seconds, as he thought of the word “comfort.” The resulting 3-D object was then sent to a CNC-milling machine, which cut out the shape in foam. Finally, it was upholstered in warm grey felt–get it, like grey matter?

If you look closer at the sofa, it’s actually what the scan looked like, over time: The X-axis shows the brain waves in hertz; the Y-axis shows the various waves, which were working simultaneously; the Z-axis is time, in milliseconds.

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Check it out, starting Nov. 4, at the Bits ‘n’ Pieces show.

Brain Wave Sofa

Brain Wave Sofa

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Brain Wave Sofa

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About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.

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