Mind Painting

Project Owner

Dr Caitilin de Bérigny (Lecturer, Design Lab, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning)

Project Credits

  • Jim Cook (TechLab, ICT)
  • Jai Honeybrook-Carter (TechLab, ICT)
  • Stuart Esdaile (System Administrator, ICT)
  • Bruce Ramus (Designer, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning)
  • 16 Students (Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning)

Start Date

First Lecture was delivered in August 2014.


Primary exhibition ran from 14th-28th of November 2014, with additional appearances at O-Week 2015, and the Vice Chancellors Recognition Dinner 2014.

Problem Statement

After visiting the TechLab for a demonstration of our DJ mindwave project(link to add) Dr De Bérigny only had one simple question: “Can we paint with our Brains?” And so a 24 credit point Graduate Diploma concept was fashioned around the use of the Neurosky Mindwave EEG headset.

Final Brief

This Friday afternoon Tutorial took place in the TechLab for the Duration of the project. a complex

The University of Sydney project led by MIDEA Lecturer Dr Caitilin de Bérigny and international lighting designer Bruce Ramus, in collaboration with Adobe and the University of Sydney TechLab, was the first of its kind in Australia.

Using a Mindwave wireless device, the wearable headset picks up the user’s electroencephalogram (EEG) that measures the brain’s electrical signals. Alpha waves and beta waves, which record the attention and meditation levels of a person, are translated into abstract digital paintings.

Challenges & Learnings

  • C1. This project required incredibly complex programming elements far beyond the capability of the TechLab team.
  • L1. The TechLab team was temporarily expanded with resources from the hosting team in order to deliver this important learning opportunity.

  • C2. 25 students in the TechLab was tough.

  • L2. Future events of this scale are now done in a normal tutorial space. If technology is necessary for more than demonstrations, it goes to the students where possible.

  • C3. Delivering an entire semester of a 24 credit unit diploma as well as developing the technology for a world class interactive digital experience is an extensive amount of work when there are only 2 staff members in the TechLab.

  • L3. I need a way to say that we wont let academics lean on us to do their job

Languages / Framework

Javascript, Processing.js, Python, Adobe Flash and much more.

Links to Resources