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Innovation Design Engineering (MA/MSc)

Alexandra Park

Mantle AI stress resilience training app

About Mantle

Stress-related illness is the single largest cost on the NHS at about £11 billion a year, and costs an estimated £28 billion a year in lost productivity to the UK economy. Stress also disproportionately impacts women, minorities and lower socioeconomic groups. 

Stress is highly complex - too much stress causes disease and early aging, but too little is also very bad for our health. Each of us has a ‘sweet spot’ when it comes to stress. We can actually train our bodies to have a quick and adaptive response to stress and learn to shift our range of tolerance to become more resilient. But how do we do this?

Mantle is an exploration into accessible stress optimization using AI and machine learning. It aims to meet people wherever they are - regardless of background or level of mental health literacy - and help them tackle their stress now in a low-effort and approachable way. It is not a replacement for therapy nor is it a chat bot. Mantle is designed to make stress-specific cognitive training easier to do when you need it most, no matter how frazzled you're feeling. Over time, these tiny but timely nudges in mindset can help build healthier mental filters and stress habits that can minimize excess stress in the body.

mantle: noun

  1. [zoology] In mollusks, a fold of skin enclosing the viscera and secreting the shell. In the presence of an external irritant, parasite, or damage, the mantle secretes nacre as an immunological response to the external stressor, creating a pearl.
  2. [geology] The region of the earth's interior between the crust and the core, where under extreme pressure conditions, carbon is transformed into diamonds.
  3. A protective cloak.
easy introduction to stress resilience training
easy to use simply describe what's stressing you out and receive a customized bit of stress-busting insight
generative AI and multi-modal inputs make Mantle personally impactful
soil biome


Agriculture that focuses on heavy chemical and physical interventions has decimated our soils, diminishing biodiversity and thrusting us towards ecosystem collapse. In 2022, almost a third of UK farmers reported negative net farm income. Meanwhile, the cost of fertilisers and pesticides has tripled year on year. Farmers can no longer afford to continue with a chemical-inputs model.

Recent scientific understanding points to soil biodiversity as the foundation of soil health, but current soil tests focus on chemistry. The biodiversity within the soil beneath our feet is estimated to be orders of magnitude greater than above the soil, but we have yet to invent new methods of measuring it.

What can we discover through listening?

Biofonic is an eco-acoustic monitoring device that measures soundscapes within soil. By listening to the soil we can detect key indicators of soil health.

Biofonic will enable farmers and researchers to quantify the impact of ecosystem-focused farming. This data will accelerate progress towards saving farmland in a sustainable manner, illuminating how regenerative soil practices impact crop yield, reducing the environmental cost of agro-chemicals, and quantifying the carbon sequestration potential of our soil.

sounding soil
Silwood research farm
testing prototypes

Alex is a tech manager turned designer who enjoys solving complex problems for positive impact on people and the planet. Her transdisciplinary experience grounds her design practice in user-centricity, real-world practicality and systems-based thinking. 

Her research has explored the application of emergent physical and digital technologies using collaborative and regenerative design principles. She hopes to leverage her know-how to make innovative, bleeding-edge solutions more accessible to those who need it most.

Alexandra Park

My time at RCA has been immersive and expansive in ways I couldn’t have anticipated. My obsession with complex and yet-uncharted systems, from the soil biome to the mind/body connection, gained depth and grew legs as I honed my design practice. I experienced a radical openness and flexibility in mindset that has had a profound impact on my work and self concept.

I’m looking forward to the next leap!