The Metronome art installation at the London Biennale is inspired by ASMR principles
Pingreoun was born in Bourges, a city in central France linked to the history of alchemy, and grew up in Lyon, a city renowned for its gastronomy. Formerly the Global Curator of Design for the A / D / O / Creative Space in Brooklyn, New York, she now heads Alter Projects, a London-based multidisciplinary firm, with clients such as Calvin Klein, Cartier and the Manhattan Loft. Corporation.
Servaire, founder and creative director of the Parisian agency Servaire & Co, designs products, architecture and branding for luxury clients such as Veuve Clicquot (for whom he imagined a rather funky handbag / wine cooler), pastry chef Fauchon and the legendary Left Bank Diptych perfumery .
For Metronome, Servaire designed a new olfactory system that incorporates scented wooden balls in a nozzle head at one end of a pendulum – the other is counterweight, like a grandfather clock – which describes a 60 degree arc. in the static and brass-coated Möbius undress.
“The scent is activated by the movement of the pendulum in the air,” Pingreoun explains. “The goal is not to perfume the room, but to create an intimate space that can be interpreted differently by each user.
As for the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response soundtrack, it was produced by Sydney-based designer Steve Lastro who is particularly interested in wellness technology. Despite its scientific-sounding acronym, ASMR is a term coined in 2009 by a woman who had experienced what she considered a “brain orgasm” – a warm effervescence, descending down her spine – while watching videos of… space .
Today, YouTube is full of videos of people (mostly young, usually well groomed) whispering soporifically turning pages of books, pretending to groom yourself, or removing dried glue from artificial ears.
There is even an ASMR online university where one can learn the rough science behind such skills – and I admit having sound recordings on my phone to help me sleep. (Being whispered by a fake flight attendant in mid-flight seems particularly effective.)
“ASMR created a huge buzz on the internet, but no one was really using it in a design sense,” says Pingreoun, who imagines the metronome is scaled down and suitable for home use. “We all need a quiet space in which to refocus.”
As the last volume of Proust’s opus was entitled: Time regained.
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