Kalostasis: an interactive journey into the human heart

The interactive installation Kalostasis by Cellule Studio, translates scientific data into an immersive experience through real-time graphics and sound.

The interactive installation Kalostasis, enacts the unseen flow of the heart and simulates the beauty and complexity of the constant flow and motion that keeps us alive, its various extremes and our body’s ability to attain a state of balance, an equilibrium key to our health. Kalostasis translates scientific data into an immersive experience through real-time graphics and sound.

The project sees King’s College London‘s research on cardiac valves, developed by heart researcher Dr Pablo Lamata, combined with Cellule Studio’s bio-inspired design and Lucy Hardcastle’s unique aesthetic, woven into an immersive poetic experience. The data has been translated and interpreted by the two artists, from research into digital and 3D flow simulations at King’s College London, based on extremes responses that could be found in clinical studies. Kalostasis is a unique depiction of the world within us, using architecture and interactive art as a medium to experience the very precise rhythms that keeps us alive.

Each day, our heart beats around 100.000 times and pumps about 2.000 litres of blood. The aorta, the largest artery in the body, is responsible for transporting blood from the heart and distributing it to reach each organ and every cell. Inspired by the heart’s anatomy and flow simulations, the installation utilizes scientific data and fuses it together with the heart’s organic motion and rhythm. This poetic representation allows the audience to witness the power of balance in the human body and our ability to maintain it.

Inspired by the heart’s anatomy and flow simulations, the installation is a blown-up version of the aorta featuring animations of blood flow. The presence of visitors inside the virtual space activates different levels of the heart’s flow and rhythm, matching the extremes of a heart’s function, and turbulences that could occur.

Salomé Bazin, founder of Cellule Studio, explains: “With Kalostastis, we wanted to showcase in a large scale experience the connection between the micro and macro: audiences can literally step inside a human heart. It shows us the powerful and constant rhythm of the heart flow, using real-time rendered graphics, projection mapping and sensor tracking; and this based on the latest advancement in medical imagery.”

The installation exhibited in Time Space Existence was also redesigned into an immersive VR experience whereby wearing goggles visitors are able to literally enter into the artery and observe it from within. The unique heart sounds can also be listened with Kalostasis at Palazzo Mora through the Echoesapp www.echoesapp.org

Kalostasis at Palazzo Mora. Photo credits: Federico Vespignani

Heart researcher and scientific lead of the Kalostasis project, Professor Pablo Lamata from the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences says: “As engineers in cardiovascular medicine, we thrive studying the wonders of our cardiac machinery. Kalostasis is our attempt to create a glimpse of that wonder. It is our means to create conversations about a future healthcare informed by our computational digital twin, and to promote the choice of healthy lifestyle options that are our best weapon against cardiovascular disease.”

As Suzanne van der Borg, Exhibition Organizer at the European Cultural Centre – Italy, who selected the project for Time Space Existence 2021 explains: “Amidst the innovative design projects exhibited in the 2021 edition of Time Space Existence, the European Cultural Centre – Italy is proud to present Kalostasis, an immersive journey inside the human body. The project was selected for the architecture biennial exhibition for being a cutting-edge installation which harmonically combines science, technology and design, whilst not only amazing visitors with its aesthetics but also sharing knowledge in an immediate and effective way.”

Find out more about Kalostasis watching the Waiting For #TimeSpaceExistence2021 video with Pablo Lamata, Salomé Bazin, and Lucy Hardcastle presenting the project and explaining the research behind it – watch here.

Kalostasis was funded by King’s College London and the Wellcome Trust, and shaped after workshops with members from British Heart Foundation and Evelina Children’s Heart

Cellule is a design studio, based in London and Paris, founded by designer and artist Salomé Bazin. The studio brings a creative and collaborative approach to science and innovation, envisioning the future of the human body and technology. Their work is driven by a human-centered methodology: taking inspiration from human physiology and nature, looking for solutions and innovation in technology and interactive mediums, researching and responding to
societal issues through user and public engagement.

Prof. Pablo Lamata is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at King’s College London. His vision is a cardiovascular healthcare informed by the digital twin of the patient, a computational replica built with a combination of medical images and data. His team (http://cmib.website) develops solutions to risk stratify subjects according to the remodelling of cardiac anatomy, to characterise the performance of the heart during diastole, and to assess non-invasively the pressure driving blood flow. He coordinates the EU consortium “Personalised In-Silico Cardiology” (http://picnet.eu) that develops modelling methodologies to optimize clinical protocols, from data acquisition to device parameters and intervention choices.

Lucy Hardcastle Studio is a pioneering experiential design studio, using interactive technologies, 3D visuals and moving image to tell complex and emotionally resonant stories. Under creative director Lucy Hardcastle, the studio creates immersive virtual worlds that combine the principles of craftsmanship with the possibilities of technology. The studio’s work ranges from commercial campaigns to large-scale design installations and self-initiated research experiments, and spans both physical and virtual. Lucy Hardcastle Studio places an emphasis on human perception and the realm of the senses, giving its work a distinctly sensual aesthetic.

Words by Stamatina Hasiotis from King’s College London and Cellule Studio. Edited by the ECC Team.

Kalostasis: an interactive journey into the human heart

The interactive installation Kalostasis by Cellule Studio, translates scientific data into an immersive experience through real-time graphics and sound.

  • Published: 18.08.2021
  • Category: In Focus
  • Subject: Participants
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