Ming Shan Digital Experience

Biofeedback, Controller, Immersive, Installation, Multi‑user, Sound
Inclusive Audiences, Information Perception, Wellbeing & Health

How can an immersive installation support meditation in a Taoist centre?

Ming Shan Digital Experience

Many apps designed for meditation have reached the market. But how might we gain a deeper understanding of how digital technologies can support meditation and generate benefits for practitioners?

Ming Shan Digital Experience

In order to explore these new perspectives, the EPFL+ECAL Lab partnered with the Ming Shan Taoist Centre, opened in 2019 in Switzerland, and developed a new generation of design-driven mediation devices.

The project journey started in China, observing traditional practices in secular sacred places. Then, combining design research with scientific literature, the knowledge of meditation experts and insights from medical doctors, the project led to the development of a series of immersive stations for meditation.

Multimodal biofeedback using light and sound can support the individual and collective meditative experience.

Ming Shan Digital Experience

Installed at the Ming Shan Temple, the installations support guided meditation in three phases: entering relaxation, meditation and wake-up.

As well as giving feedback on individual meditation, the research also investigates how to induce a group response through sound. Qualitative and quantitative scientific evaluations with meditation novices and experts were led in collaboration with UX psychologists of the University of Fribourg.

Practitioners are immersed in a luminous ring whose light, colour, rhythm and intensity reflect their inner changes in real time and stimulates attention to their own body. Colours produced by the light ring evolve over the meditation phases, and physiological information from sensors generates additional visual and acoustic feedback.

Evolving according to the state of the participants using biofeedback technique, this immersive environment aims to facilitate not only individual practice, but also to strengthen collective meditation. After each meditation session, visual traces are left to perpetuate the flow and energy within the temple.

The three meditation decks have been operational at the Ming Shan Taoist Centre since November 2019.


Nicolas Henchoz

Project Management & Art Direction

Lara Défayes

Research Assistant

Margaux Charvolin

Interaction Design

Margaux Charvolin in cooperation with Lara Défayes

Software Engineering

Delphine Ribes, Yves Kalberer, Luca Sassoli de Bianchi

Industrial Design

Matthieu Girel, Béatrice Durandard

Hardware & Firmware Engineering

Dr Cédric Duchêne

Sound Design

Dr Cédric Duchêne

UX Psychology

Dr Andreas Sonderegger with assistance of Stanislav Riss and Clara Evans

Photography Credits

© EPFL+ECAL Lab / Daniela & Tonatiuh