Week 10 (Part 2): A new perspective

After our meeting with Suleiman at BVN on Wednesday, we discussed the issues with our current idea. At the moment we all thought that our idea was too literal and didn’t leave much room for design and creativity. It was a unanimous decision that we should change our direction of though, and so we are deciding to go back to reducing stress instead of simply informing.

We want to experiment with spatial sound and particle systems to see how it can impact on the senses and in turn reduce stress. We aim to create an experience that also is an abstract data visualisation, but also acts as an aesthetically pleasing holographic experience if the user is uninformed about the background information.

SOUND

Sound is such an important part of an immersive experience. I did some research in to some studies conducted on the effect of sound on stress.

The Effect of Music on the Human Stress Response, Myriam V Thoma, 2013

This study looked at the how different sound impacts on stress reduction. This was measured by the cortisol levels in the participants saliva. There were three types of sound: relaxing music, acoustic control sounds (i.e. water rippling), and acoustic music. The results proved that the acoustic control sounds produced the lowest amount of cortisol in the participants.

“…lowest concentrations of cortisol were observed in the acoustic control condition (i.e. listening to the sound of rippling water)…humans indeed feel more comforted in natural than in urban environments.”

Stress Recovery during Exposure to Nature Sound and Environmental Noise, Jessper J Alvarsson, 2010

This second study looked at stress recovery and sound. Again different types of noise were testing on participants that were exposed to a stressful situation and stress levels studied before and after. The different types of noise include nature sounds, high level noise such as traffic, and low level noise such as ambient city noises. It was proven that stress recovery was faster when participants listened to nature sounds.

VISUALS

We would like to use abstract visualisations in our experience so that if the user does not understand the background information they can still enjoy a unique and relaxing activity. We aim to create “satisfying visualisations” to induce a state of calm and overall relaxation.

Similar to how we are entranced by mesmerising videos and images, we would like to create a similar effect. Such “satisfying” media is an example of the mood management theory.

“It’s the idea that genres of media get implicitly associated with certain feelings,”
Jessica Gall Myrick, PhD

This is the theory that certain types of media impart certain emotions on us such as happiness or relaxation.

These visualisations are also associated with autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR).

“the euphoric experience of that tingling sensation that runs down your head, neck and spine before you’re whisked away into full-body relaxation.”
Rosebud Baker, Elite Daily

ASMR also releases serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins in the human brain. These are all hormones that make us happy and joyful.

COLOUR

Similar to our last ideas, colour is very important as it induces different emotions.

BLUE: trust, serenity, logic, reflection, calm

GREEN: harmony, balance, peace

YELLOW: creativity, emotional strength, friendliness

These are the three main colours we will use for our holograms as they are associated with calming or peaceful emotions.

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