Aug. 28, 2014 | Alec

Most people will agree that objects can reflect or contain emotions. All of us will have objects lying around that have little actual value, but are actually personal treasures that remind us of important events and loves ones. But can objects themselves be embodiments of those emotions? ESTUDIO GUTO RQUENA, who have launched the Love Project in collaboration with D3, say that it is definitely possible. But this is not a philosophical answer; instead the Love Project seeks to actively give shape to emotions by capturing emotions in computer-generated models and printing these shapes with 3D printing technology.

Watch a video of the 'Love Project' here:

This project has been revealed at the recent Design Weekend São Paolo. As the team behind the 'Love Project' explain, this recently-launched project is a 'study in design, science and technology that captures the emotions people feel in relating personal love stories and transforms them into everyday objects. The project suggests a future in which unique products will bear personal histories in ways that encourage long life cycles, thus inherently combining deeply meaningful works with sustainable design.'

The face behind this project is that of 34-year old Brazilian designer and architect Guto Requena. Having won various design awards in his native country, this 34-year old is often referred to as one of Brazil's most promising modern architects. Various modern buildings throughout Brazil are of his design, including the Brazilian headquarters of Google and Walmart.

With this design project, Guto Requena seeks to do something entirely different by attempting to combine emotions and technology. Participants in this project are hooked onto computers using various sensors that measure the speed of their heartbeats and fluctuations in their voices and brain activity. This way, physical and emotional responses are measured while the subjects recount their love stories and feelings. While doing this, participants are isolated from others, to remove any inhibitions one might feel when sharing your emotions in front of others.

While participants are telling these stories, data and patterns are drawn from their changing emotions which is transferred to specially-developed software. This software has been designed by the Brazilian D3 studio, who have created a graphic interface in Grasshopper that transforms all this data into unique grid patterns. And when projected on top of each other, these graphic displays of emotional activity take shape as vase-like structures.

These structures can then be printed with 3D printing technology into a variety of different materials, including ABS, Polyamide, Glass, glass, ceramic or metal. And, as Guto Requena explains, 'Each product is unique and contains the most intimate emotions of the participants love stories', though all the current software will project all emotions into vase-like structures. Indeed, the first version of this experiment created three different objects: a vase, a lamp and a fruit bowl.

Of course, you can wonder to what extent these creations truly reflect your feelings. Can anyone read the emotions or love stories that have shaped your fruit bowl? And won't all fruit bowls be roughly similar? Nonetheless, the 'Love Project' remains a very interesting, romantic and experiment that combines emotions and technology to create thought-provoking art.

Furthermore, this project is still ongoing ,as this is only the first of a three-step program. As Requena explains on his website, they are currently looking at options to bring this art form to the people through a smartphone application: 'Right now we are developing an application to democratize this experiment so that anyone, anywhere, can tell their own love story and visualize it in real time, via cell phone, as an object of their choosing. These objects can then be created on a 3D printer.'

And following that, the team behind the 'Love Project' wants to develop a series of educational activities that focus purely on the technical side of this project, rather than on the eye-catching emotions:

For 2015, we are developing a series of educational activities that are intended to allow anyone access to design processes with the use of interactive digital technologies such as parametric software, sensors, 3D scanners and printers, and microcontrollers such as Arduino. Focusing on children and adolescents from low-income families, this step will expand the projects sphere of cultural references, demystify these technologies and encourage young people to develop their own design projects.

A large portion of the 'Love Project' is thus also aimed at democratizing 3D printing technology and increasing its availability and potential. And that is no less exciting than transforming emotions into objects.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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