Mediated Atmosphere

The Mediated Atmosphere project envisions a smart office that is capable of dynamically transforming itself to enhance occupants' work experience.

In the knowledge economy, worker satisfaction is paramount to retention and productivity. Recent studies have identified a decline in workplace satisfaction. Our research demonstrates how Mediated Atmosphere address this growing need. We created a workspace prototype equipped with a modular real-time control infrastructure, integrating biosignal sensors, controllable lighting, projection, and sound.


The sensorial qualities of a space—the atmosphere—shaped by the composition of light, sound, objects, and people—have a remarkable influence on our experiences and behavior. Manipulating it has been shown to be powerful, affecting cognitive performance, mood, and even physiology. Emerging technologies for spatial augmentation provide new opportunities to enrich everyday environments. In this research, we explore how these technologies could be used to improve the workplace. 

Mediated Atmosphere

We envision workspaces that can self-regulate on the basis of an occupant's activities and affect in a closed-loop fashion. We imagine a workspace that, when asked, can instantly trade the engaging focus of a library with the liberating sensation of a stroll through the forest—a workspace that can replicate the invigorating tension of a control room or the restorative qualities of a beloved childhood hideaway. 

The responsive controller relies on ubiquitous, nonintrusive sensing of the occupant's activity, work habits, and physiological or behavioral reaction to environmental changes. Building on data from realistic work scenarios, we create personalized occupant response models for accurate control. Dynamic control presents an opportunity to synchronize the workspace experience with the ever-changing requirements of today's workers.

As a result, the workspace might suggest the atmosphere of a local coffee shop or an artifact-strewn artist's living room when it is time to spark creativity, and the atmosphere of a study when it is time to maintain focus. The workspace might integrate brief nature escapes into our workday, supporting us in our effort to balance our schedule and physiological needs and create more sustainable, healthier routines. Looking ahead, we envision more complex applications that would use the ambiance to strengthen memory and support learning activities.

Industry Collaborators:

Philips, Bose, Steelcase