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Innovation Design Engineering (MA/MSc)

Feiyang Xia

Feiyang is a writer, illustrator, and designer, newly graduated from the Innovation Design Engineering program at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London.

Her unique blend of mechanical engineering, Chinese literature, language, and social science informs her work. Her creations, which largely comprise video, painting, and installations, delve into contemporary social issues. Utilizing interactive media, she captures, interprets, and reflects upon fragments of modern social life, providing thought-provoking commentary on today's world.

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Anxiety is a common issue, with 6% of people in the UK diagnosed with an anxiety disorder last year. While therapy or medication may be necessary for some, long-term self-help strategies can also be effective. Scientists have found that both environmental changes and certain actions can contribute to this process, leading to the development of two popular self-help methods: nature therapy and meditation therapy.

But what if we could combine the benefits of both?

Introducing "Back to the Plants" - a community-focused public installation for mental health support that can help you redefine your path back to inner peace. The installation has two main components: a music generator that collects live electrical signals from local plants and transforms them into MIDI data and music in real time, and a breathe guidance ball that uses haptic feedback to help even those who have never tried meditation to follow the rhythm and practice breathing.

problem identify
We are all anxious...Anxiety affects many people in the UK, with only a small percentage of those diagnosed with a disorder requiring therapy or medication. Long-term self-help can benefit the majority of people who feel anxious. The neuroscience of anxiety focuses on the executive level of the brain. By activating cognitive regulation processes, relief responses can be triggered. Environmental changes and self-help methods like nature and meditation therapy can contribute to this process.


Tech Core Design
The Tech Core has three functions: a music generator, electrodes for plants connected via Arduino and coded PCBs, and a lighting system for night visibility and safety. Each electrode has an indicator light to show working condition. The Breathe Ball Controller, made with Arduino micro and air pumps, is also included.
breathe ball
Breath Ball, which provides haptic feedback and sound through a deformable membrane on its side. With its connector underneath, equipped with a proximity switch and standard screws, it can fit onto different supporting bars. The ball can be easily removed and will automatically return to its original position.
electrical signal
making process
user journey