In a situation of high stress and frustration, people often forget to breathe, which can lead to an anxiety or panic attack. A gentle reminder to focus on the feelings of their body can help people relax and find peace in their mind. Currently, phone apps like Headspace and Calm provide mental health support passively. Users have to become aware of their symptom first before choosing to use these apps to address their discomfort. These apps do not provide real-time mitigation and relief, therefore only effective during the aftermath.
Ari presents a proactive solution that assists the users before they experience anxiety attack. Ari is a lamp with awareness. It blends in with the ambient environment but silently listens to users’ heart rate and breathing pattern. Ari interacts with the user with its breathing light that effectively occupies user’s peripheral attention and guides the user to match their breathing pattern with Ari.
In order to allow the lamp to "breathe", I want to design a lampshade that gives the lamp the form factor that allows for this functionality. For the fabrication part of the project, I plan on exploring different fabrics and techniques that make the lampshade visually and physically feel lightweight, stretchy, and "breathable". My current idea is to explore origami textile that can helpfully give the lampshade some structure but also allows it to expand and transform, mimicking the motion of inflation and deflation.