What is it?
Room for Thought is a series of 3 interactive lighted mini-pavilions, to promote discovery and introspection along a major urban circulation route. It was featured in the 2015 Market Street Prototyping Festival, with great success.
Each mini-pavilion is an urban sanctuary that one can duck into from below. Within, the 3 interiors are defined by separate and distinct experiences:
Room to Hear - a space padded with acoustic foam.
Room to Feel - a space lined with tactile, furry material.
Room to See - a space faceted with shimmering panels.
Every conical structure is lighted by an interactive color-changing LED circuit responding to an occupant’s intention – thus, the color of the light varies with the intention (“Think of a color”), and creates a variable, focused, and highly unique individual encounter.
In a city that embraces innovative grassroots ideas and groundbreaking new technologies, Room for Thought is both a spatial prototype and a technological experiment that aims to reinvent your urban experience.
How does it work?
We’ve placed a device in each cone that senses and responds to an occupant’s intention. It is related to the popular science phenomena of wave function collapse in quantum mechanics, where an observer can influence particle behavior/existence through intention and observation.
The color of the lights is simply a medium to test this intention-based technology. There are 8 possible light colors. The light’s default setting is white when the space is unoccupied, and the it starts to change colors in accordance to what you’re focusing on in your mind. It’s a fun way to test if you beat the odds (1 in 8) to reflect the color you want, and get it on target every time!
No really, how does it work?
This is based on prototypical technology developed in Princeton University in the 70’s. The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research
(PEAR) laboratory was set up to develop an engineering approach to the question whether sensitive electronic devices (Random Number Generators, or RNG) that output random components might be affected by special states of consciousness, including strong emotions and directed intention. The device we’re using is an RNG.
There’s a component of sci-fi in here, because it’s very experimental technology that is backed by real empirical data and research – which makes the MSPF project more fun as a technological/spatial discovery prototype!
Focus your mind, and hold a color in your thoughts.
Give the white light around 10-30 seconds to respond to you; it should not cycle through other colors before reaching yours.
Having more than 1 person in the cone will produce different/varying results, unless you’re both thinking of the same color, or playing mental tug-of-war – which can be fun!
Many individual and institutional pioneers in consciousness studies reside in San Francisco, as do tens of thousands of citizens who regard consciousness research to be one of the most important areas of scientific and personal inquiry. Thus Mind:Cloud is perhaps the first public representation of this growing subset of the San Francisco community. Awareness of the installation will be promoted through the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS).
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Please push to make this project a permanent reality on Market Street! The city and festival organizers are monitoring feedback on social media, and will select several festival prototypes for further development. Tag posts and photos with #MSPFThought