“Using AI to speculate a future that belongs to all of us”

An Immersion in Refik Anadol´s universe

August 6, 2020

“Art for me is humanity´s capacity of imagination”, says Rafik Anadol, media artist, machine learning pioneer and passionate of science fiction. Some say he is also a poet of math, an arquitect of emotion…

One thing sure is that Refik Anadol is incredibly talented and S+T+ARTS is very proud to count his studio as partner of MindSpaceswhose central objective is to create the tools and develop the solutions for adaptive and inclusive spaces that dynamically adapt to emotional, aesthetical and societal responses of end users, creating functionally and emotionally appealing architectural design.

The central concept and flow of MindSpaces can be seen below. Original 3D models of spaces to be developed by architects and artists and will be used as a basis to propose innovative, art-inspired outdoors environments for a city, indoors workspace and house re-design. The design ideas will be integrated artistically in AR/VR environments, which will be modified in real time in response to EEG, physiological (heart rate, galvanic skin response) and environmental (presence sensing, video monitoring) measurements of end users. This will leadto adaptive designs that immediately respond to users’ emotional, functional needs, resulting in improved, attractive city spaces, inspiring and productive work environments and functional home interiors.

illustration of the idea behind MindSpaces

The design of space, on architectural and urban scales has been shown to significantly affect the emotional, cognitive wellbeing of individuals, and to influence the functionality and effectiveness of indoors and outdoors spaces in manners that have often been overlooked in the past. In recent years, advances in cognitive science, in sensing technologies and in the arts and creative industries have been paving the way for deeper understanding of the effects of environments on individuals’ wellbeing and behavior.

MindSpaces brings together artists, creatives and technology experts to produce AR/VR installations representing emotionally and functionally adaptive designs of outdoors and indoors spaces. Innovative design ideas will be introduced by art practices, through their ability to imagine futures that do not just reflect the current consensus in mathematics, logic and engineering, setting into motion new ways of seeing, hearing, touching, feeling, transforming and experiencing spaces, places and community. Emotional, cognitive, behavioral measurements will provide insights into the effects of proposed designs on end users. Artists will incorporate these responses into “living” installations, adapting them online to elicit positive emotional and behavioral feedback.

Refik Anadol was just interviewed on “Ahead of the Curve. Real time conversation” youtube channel, by Geoffrey Platt, and we were delighted to hear him talk about his education, inspirations, early work, view on AI, machine learning and humanity:

For a decade, Refik Anadol Studio has been pushing the boundaries between algorythm and imagination, creating artworks at the intersection of technology and art. He was one of the artists exhibited at the NEAR + FUTURES + QUASI + WORLDS, that celebrated the 5th anniversary of S+T+ARTS during the month of July 2020, at State Studio in Berlin, with the installation Melting Memories.

Melting Memories is the title of a series of artworks realized by Refik Anadol in collaboration with the Neuroscape Laboratory at the University of California, a neuroscience center specialized in applying cutting-edge technology to study and improve brain functions. Data are collected through electroencephalography (EEG), and processed by the artist with custom made algorithms to create a visual rendition of the brain activities over time.

Melting Memories intends to pose questions about the materiality of memories, and cognitive decay (curatorial text from Manuel Cirauqui for the N+F+Q+W brochure).

Engram : Data Sculpture for Melting Memories from Refik Anadol on Vimeo.

Know more about other S+T+ARTS projects and the collaborations supported between artists, technologists and scientists:

Credit picture Refik Anadol: Interconnected Web