Google’s sleep pods are fabled. With sleep disorders on the rise thanks to the increasing distractions of modern life, they’re the stuff every office worker’s fantasies are made of. So what if quality sleep became an integral part of our social fabric?
To wit, UK-based practice Loop.pH are making this dream a reality with their public sleep laboratory, recently showcased in Singapore at The Cathay, as part of the most recent edition of FutureEverything festival. Founded by Mathias Gmalch and Rachel Wingfeld, the firm has concocted countless ambitious projects - think vast structures made from Archilace (electro-luminous fibres), for one – straddling the spheres of art, architecture and technology from their Stoke Newington studio.
Their latest project, The Chronarium Sleep Lab, is one of their most intriguing yet, imagined as an immersive audiovisual environment that transforms its location into a womb-like chamber.
Inside, a mellow soundtrack scored by composer Anna Meredith sets the tone, and visitors are encouraged to lay back in one of the slinky hammocks (pillows are optional). Once nested in your silken cocoon, a disembodied voice gently guides you to sleep while a wash of coloured light shifts through a Technicolor spectrum.
'We’ve developed this 15-minute sequence that is supposed to take you from awake and alert, into deep relaxation using light, sound and touch,’ explains the studio, which consulted with a leading sleep scientist, sound artists and meditation expert for the project.
The Chronarium similarly buffers its inhabitants from electromagnetic frequencies, acting as a sort of Faraday shield. And the potential practical applications are enormous: from airports and emergency services to the military. When it comes to sleeping partners, we’re inclined to get into bed with Loop.pH.