Calmspaces – Ademruimte (2019)

Ademruimte (Breathing Space), a project developed bij Calmspaces in collaboration with artists, designers, health professionals, urbanists and architects. The aim was to design a prototype of a public space for rest, contemplation and silence; something that is missing in modern urban environments. 

In Ademruimte, sensor technology, light and sound design allowed the participants to interact with space through breathing. Spatially integrated feedback mechanisms enable users to interact with the functioning of their body and mind.

Calmspaces, initiated by artist Beer van Geer, is an organization that designs multi-sensorial spaces for contemplation and rest. Spaces designed by calmspaces make use of traditional architecture and modern digital technological implementations.

During the residency at The Grey Space, in the first half of 2019, Calmspaces built a first prototype of Ademruimte. Sensor technology, light and sound are integrated in this spatial installation. BCG technology (ballistocardiography) in the seating furniture measures subtle changes in pressure: it can detect heart and respiratory patterns. By means of a simple interface, the visitor can change the pace of the breathing conduction in the room (light and sound). When the user focuses on this rhythm, BCG technology measures whether the user is in a synchronized and focused state, where the user experiences a subtle change in light and sound.

Ademruimte has been open to the public by appointment. In this test phase, the space and its operation were improved and refined based on the experience of more than 250 visitors and the response of professionals.

Ademruimte has been the point of focus in the second edition of the performative symposium ‘When You See Me Again It Won’t Be Me’ on November 22, 2019. The program evolved around the question how an artificially created environment can adapt and interact with the inner state of our body to influence our human behavior or experience. Cellist The Wong Janice performed amid Ademruimte, designer Inès Leverrier Péborde reconstructed an age-old miracle cure (panacea) together with the audience and revealed how the meaning of poison has evolved over time, Anne Nigten presented relevant projects on behalf of The Patching Zone, artist Martijn Engelbregt made us experience our inner-self through physical exercises and the conversations were led by the artist Barbara Visser.

Ademruimte is a Calmspaces project by Beer van Geer (founder, concept, light and interaction) in collaboration with: Tena Lazarevic (architect), Yota Morimoto (sound design), Jacqueline de Klerk (breathing therapist), Bin Yu (scientific and technological support), Monobanda’s Niki Smit & Simon van der Linden (concept development), Healing Places’ Inès Péborde (consultant), Awareness Lab’s Danielle Roberts (consultant), Sander Massera (construction), Roeland Krijswijk (furniture), Saskia van Nieuwekerk (psychology consultant), Since Today (graphic design)

This project was supported by Creative Industries Fund NL and the City of The Hague and developed in collaboration with The Grey Space in the Middle.

Photos by Alessa Photography