Synapse is a 3D-printed helmet which moves and illuminates according to brain activity. The project was made with support from Autodesk Pier 9, and the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Synapse is a multi-material 3D-printed wearable piece that moves and changes shape in response to the activities of the brain. The main intention of this project is to explore the possibilities of multi-material 3D printing in order to produce a shape-changing structure around the body as a second skin.

Additionally, the project seeks to explore direct control of the movement with neural commands from the brain so that we can effectively control the environment around us through our thoughts.

Synapse 3D-printed wearable piece

The environment therefore becomes an extension of our bodies. This project aims to play with the intimacy of our bodies and the environment to the point that the distinction between them becomes blurred, as both have ‘become’ a single entity. 

Neurosky's EEG chip incorporated with the Mindflex headset

Neurosky’s EEG chip and Mindflex headset blend technology and design.

The helmet motion is controlled by the Eletroencephalography (EEG) of the brain. A Neurosky’s EEG chip and Mindflex headset have been modified and redesigned in order to create a seamless blend between technology and design.

EEG technology used in Synapse

EEG technology allows the recording and monitoring of the electrical activity of the brain, produced from the firing of neurons.

Neurosky’s EEG technology has the ability to assess cognitive load and measure various data such as Attention, Meditation, Delta, Theta, Low Alpha, High Alpha, Low Beta, High Beta, Low Gamma, and High Gamma values. The neural commands related to the “Attention” level are therefore translated into actual motions. This operates as a direct interface that allows users to interact with their immediate and non-immediate environments.

The 3D-printed helmet was produced using Object Connex 500 multi-material 3D printing technology at Pier 9, Autodesk, which is able to print a soft (black) and hard (white, in this case) in a single operation.The design of the helmet aims to provide a flexible/soft structure which enables maximum contraction and expansion. 

Close-up of Synapse

Design: Behnaz Farahi

Director: Nicholas Cambier

Model: Lissy Twaits

Cinematographer: Michael Sturm

Make-up design: Sara Tagaloa

Hair Stylist: Selina Boon

Special Thanks

Fallon Lebedowicz

Paolo Salvagione

Pedro Patricio

Alex Glowaski

Arthur Harsuvanakit

Evan Atherton

Samantha Chiu

Exhibition of Synapse at the USC School of Cinematic Arts gallery, 2015.
Selected Work
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