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Lucy Hardcastle creates an interactive landscape visualising her own brainwaves, as part of the studio’s 2020 rebrand

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Having used the lockdown period as an opportunity to define the studio’s mission, values and brand identity, Lucy Hardcastle Studio is unveiling a new website incorporating an interactive feature, based on a data visualisation of her own brainwaves.

Wetlands is a self-initiated project that outlines the vision and approach of the studio. By combining Lucy’s own neurological responses to material tactility with the user’s own interactions on the site, the project creates a unique digital landscape that constantly shifts in colour and form as the two data sources intersect.

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Developed in consultation with specialists in the field of neuroscience, the project takes Lucy’s personal response to sensory materials as its starting point. A wearable headset was used to track electrical activity in her brain, as well as heart-rate and breath-rate, during stimulating experiences with different surfaces while in a closed-eye meditative state. These data were compiled into linear waves, graphs and cross-sections, which were then translated into a 3D landscape – a spectrum of colour and wave movement that acts almost as a 3D graph.

This landscape captures Lucy’s responses to a range of material textures, including glass, suede, acetate, slime, silicone rubber, sandpaper and silk, translating her brainwaves and other bodily data into high-points and valleys, rock pools of fluid and flurries of different coloured particles. Accessing the site, the user is brought into this realm, and encouraged to play with their surroundings. As they navigate the 360-degrees digital space, their interactions disperse colour and trigger wave motions in correlation with the data, creating mini-ecosystems or tides. The more the user plays with the pools, the more they spread and melt into the landscape, creating a flooded effect, with the outcome of an ever-changing digital environment.

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For our new identity, we were inspired by the importance of presence, as a way to represent how we ‘bring the human’ into our practice. In order to feel connected and personal to the foundations of the studio, we chose to use my sensitivity to materials as an area of exploration and data extraction, creating a visualised algorithm that is as much living and breathing as I am. The outcome is a digital landscape in a constant state of change between the data and the individual user’s input.

— Lucy Hardcastle
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Experience Wetlands and reimagined identity at lucyhardcastle.com

@luhardcastle

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