An Immersive Experience for Environmental Empathy
Cellule Studio, Sound Earth Legacy, British Council
Creative Ideation, Lab Validation
Interoception, Empathy, Frequency
More than 113 million people are affected by noise pollution, causing stress and anxiety. Manmade noise also makes it difficult for animals to communicate and find food, especially those living in our oceans. In the wake of our current global challenges, fostering greater collective and environmental empathy is crucial. Synchronies offers audiences a brief moment away to pause and reconnect with themselves, each other and our planet.
We created this experience to foster greater empathy and create a positive change for our planet, and we were able to collect and analyse data to prove its impact.
Create an interactive experience translating environmental and collective energy into a felt experience
In collaboration with Cellule Studio and Sound Earth Legacy, we explored an immersive concept to create broader understanding of the interconnection of the heartbeat of the earth and humans.
Synchronies is a sonic experience revealing the impact of environmental sound pollution on human health
The 20-minute experience takes audiences through sounds of the sea, species, planet and people. Using heart sensors and responsive lighting, the environment responds to each individual heartbeat for the audience to co-create the experience. Pulsing together, and with the changing sounds of the planet, it invites us to reflect on the interconnection with each other and the world we share.
The immersive design using sound, light, and heartbeat sensors premiered at Barcelona's Mira Festival
To measure levels of empathy, connection and immersion we collected and tracked the collective audience heartbeats. Analysis revealed heartbeats slowed steadily over the experience, showing the meditative and relaxing effect, while heartrate synchrony was highest during sounds of nature and lowest during anthropogenic sounds demonstrating the vast interconnection of our planet.
Over the 15-minute experience, people’s heartbeats slowed down steadily over the duration, showing its meditative and relaxing qualities. Even more crucially, heart rate synchrony, computed as inter-subject correlation (ISC) showed synchrony was highest during whale sounds, and lowest during the anthropocene segment, showing measured impact of noise pollution versus the healing power of nature.
Synchronies helps us experience the interconnection of our worlds, our human contribution to our sonic environments and its impact on our collective and planetary health.