It’s either the ultimate in couch comfort or a totally bizarre idea dreamed up by a pair of designers obsessed with neuroscience. Either way, the “Brainwave Sofa” is clearly a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture.
The couch’s lumpy, bumpy shape is a three-dimensional version of a brain scan, specifically a three-second recording of designer Lucas Maassen’s alpha brain waves as he closed his eyes and thought of the word “comfort.” Data from the electroencephalograph was processed by BioExplorer, a 3-D visualization program, and then fed directly into a milling machine that cut the shape out of soft foam.
“The process is a wink to a rather futuristic design process,” the couch creators wrote in a press release, “for which a designer merely has to close his or her eyes, or merely rest, to have the brain do all the work, and create the data needed to have the CNC machine cut the shape of the sofa.”
The x-axis of the couch represents Maassen’s brain waves in hertz, while the y-axis shows the amount of alpha activity as a percentage, and the z-axis is the time in milliseconds. Once the foam core of the sofa was completed, the designers covered it by hand in soft gray felt and decorated the valleys of the brain waves with buttons.