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Research Library
Publication

Design Research Compendium 2020

    • Published: 2020
    • Hansika Mangwani
    • Dissertation, Master of Design Innovation & Technology, RMIT University, Australia, 2020.
    • Download the complete paper, click here.

Abstract

Stress, anxiety, overwhelm, frustration have become a part of our everyday life now, especially in the growing competitive world that we live in. Most of these emotions arise due to the change that is happening, and our bodies do not like change.

We are not physiologically equipped to deal with unexpected change.

Scientific research has demonstrated that different emotions give rise to different patterns of the heart activity which in turn have distinct effects on the cognitive and emotional functions of our body. These effects not only influence our emotional processing but also higher cognitive faculties such as how we perceive, think, feel, and perform. Our physiological system is always responding to our emotional system and vice versa. The more ordered and stable pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during continued positive emotional states such as appreciation, joy, awe, facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings to transition the body into a specific harmonious and coherent state, scientifically recognized as a state of coherence.

Effection is a sensorial experience that utilizes a biofeedback loop to highlight the simple yet complex interconnections between our heart, our breath and our emotions.

The installation, situated in the Mind and Body Gallery at Melbourne Museum, uses light and sound mediums to bring involuntary, unconscious bodily processes into consciousness. The design utilizes Inner Balance sensor technology developed by the HeartMath Institute as an input data stream that interacts with a sound and light system. The resulting multi-sensory spatial experience prompts audiences to become aware of the interconnections inside and outside of their body and to recognize a state of coherence in which mind and body is in harmony.