King's College London

Public installation

London, 2019

An interactive journey into the human heart.

Created for the London Design Festival in the Victoria & Albert Museum, Kalostasis is an installation that translates the remarkable self-regulating action of the heart into an immersive sensory experience.

Lucy Hardcastle and collaborator Cellule Studio were invited to visually interpret the research of Dr Pablo Lamata of the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences at King’s College London.
Using computational modelling and advanced medical imaging techniques as the starting point, they created a powerful and emotive real-time demonstration of the heart’s usually unseen ability to sustain balance within the human body – the equilibrium that keeps us all alive.

The heart beats around 100,000 times a day, and transports about 2,000 litres of blood through our largest artery, the aorta, to every cell in the body.
Certain conditions can cause obstructions to the aorta, placing strain on the heart and resulting in irregular blood flow.

By using MRI technology, the team at King’s College were able to visualise and model an individual’s blood flow in 3D – a huge breakthrough when it comes to decision-making around treatment and operation timing.
The aim of Kalostasis was to bring this to life and communicate the scope and significance of this research in a compelling and emotive way – to act as a bridge between raw data and public understanding.

Incorporating real-time rendered graphics, projection mapping and sensor tracking, the installation takes the form of a monumental structure upon which a graphic 3D simulation is blood flow is projected.
By stepping into the structure, the visitor creates an imbalance, disrupting the flow in the same way as aortic obstruction would.
When they leave the structure, the flow simulation gradually returns to its neutral state – a tribute to the stamina of the human heart and its power to restore equilibrium. 

Approximately 4,000 people experienced Kalostasis over the nine days of London Design Festival.

Funded by King's College London and the Wellcome Trust.
Supported by British Heart Foundation and Evelina Children's Heart Organisation.


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