*Shortlisted for the Lexus Design Awards 2019*
Techno-Psychedelic Therapy (TPT) is a biometric enhanced - Mixed Reality Meditation Therapy. TPT takes an experimental approach to tackling common yet complex mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression; also technology & gaming addiction.
By combining Mixed Reality (MR) technology with Electroencephalographic (EEG) feedback loops and binaural sound frequencies, it creates a unique meditative experience for each user, that intensifies in response to the individuals bodily and mental state. 
Inspired by the institutionalisation of psychedelics as a treatment for mental health disorders, TPT interprets certain characteristics of the psychedelic experience and recreates them as a multi-sensory form of meditation. Allowing the user to fall deeper and deeper into a meditative state, with the aid of these cohesive designed mediums. In an attempt to create a system that avert’s ingestible substances all together, to use self, technology and nature as a mechanism of healing. 
TPT envisions a Utopic future, where humans, technology and nature work symbiotically together, creating a tangent of reality where technology is used to rekindle our connection with the natural world, instead of opposing it. Adding layers on top of our preexisting reality, attempting to move away from our destructive addiction to personal technologies.
TPT it is intended to be used as a service tool, for those wishing to explore the world of psychedelics as a treatment for poor mental health.  Giving the user an initial taster of a psychedelic experience to facilitate an initial understanding of how psychedelics can play a role in the treatment of poor mental wellbeing. For those who haven't experienced psychedelia or those who may have strict opinions on their uses. TPT could be used as a way of bridging the preconceived viewpoint's around psychedelics, in an effort to hopefully promote their safe use within the pharmaceutical industries. 
TPT is a designed speculation around future possibilities of mental health treatments.


Techno-Psychedelic Therapy was created from two initial questions of possible exploration
What POSSIBLE futureS are there FOR mental health treatments?
What POSSIBLE futureS are there FOR personal technologies?
Initial Research

To get an expert's perspective on medical futures, specifically looking into current mental health treatments, I contacted Dr Ben Sessa an industry leader in child and adolescent mental health, and psychopharmacology.  Dr Sessa works as a psychedelic researcher, looking into how psychedelic compounds can have a positive effect on specific mental disorders.  I arranged an interview with him to talk about past, present and future treatments for mental disorders and to gain an understanding of how technological addiction will effect us societally, and what steps we can take to aid this.   ​​​​

"LSD has this brilliant capacity, to strip back the labels we attach to ourselves, the games that we play with our identity. A lot of people with chronic mental illnesses have very low self esteem and very low opinions of themselves. They have these labels they carry around and one of the problems with long mental disorder and addiction is the rigidity. It's so hard to break that down. 

So what these drugs do especially LSD, it has the capacity to make you think outside the box, it gives you new ways to think about old problems and this is a really important step forward for someone who has rigid set of personality traits and especially about their own identity and self belief being very negative. I think it is important, with these drugs, they are immensely powerful and we do see problems with them, and we do see people coming to harm with them, it's all about how they're harnessed and managed, how the experience is facilitated and integrated.

We are in a situation now with depression, anxiety and trauma based addictions, that they are plaguing our society; we know what causes them, trauma, but the treatments are very poor, we mask the symptoms using anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and mood stabilisers  that simply paper over the cracks and don’t affect the route cause of the problem. Drugs like MDMA, Psilocybin and LSD could be the antibiotic to mental health as penicillin was to general medicine a hundred years ago.  ​​​​​​​

LSD’s history begins in addiction, the majority of the work in the 50s early 60s was with addiction and alcohol addiction in particular. The common route of addiction is similar for all sorts of addictions: sex, gambling, substance or tech. LSD's capacity to break the rigidity of addiction, could off-course be used to treat technological addiction yes. The thing about addiction it is a very complex situation that forms an addiction, you have biological factors and physical biological factors that create changes in the brain." - Sessa​​​​​​​
 


To get an expert's perspective on technological futures and the effects of technology on our wider human perspective, I contacted performance artist Stelarc, an expert in post and transhuman studies. He was kind enough to have a call with me to talk about his thoughts on the progression of humanity and our evolution with new technologies, and what the implications of technology could have on us individually, societally and specially.

"Increasingly technology will generate unexpected information and images of the body and the world. So we are going to be constantly reconfiguring, what it means to be a body, what it means to be a human.  I think that is the most radical idea of technology, as it will generate the unexpected. In terms of Nano engineering, it has completely flipped the idea that technology is externalised.  You’ll now have technology residing in not just our circulatory system but in our Cellular structures.

Addiction is appropriately symbiotic with technology. One drives the other, you might have a craving for the novel or the new, and technology provides that, in turn we develop new instruments and machines to further accelerate the body and further generate a wider electromagnetic perception of the world. 

So using technology and being symbiotic to it, being addictive, generates the desire for new technologies, which will supply the craving for the novel information and imagery that we need. As bodies, we crave for the other experience, the other person, the other cognitive state. It’s boring to be affirming in your particular present biological state or status. I feel as if the body is obsolete, technology indicates and otherness that is so extensive and addictive, to remain in this present form with these particular functions is inadequate. " - Stelarc



Reality 2.0

Research Film - Exploring notions of open source downloadable medication 
Initial Experiential Experiments

Using Virtual Reality with physical designed mediums to create the feeling of disassociation. 

Initial Research 

Interpretations of psychedelic visual effects
Initial Development  

Creating VLSD Augmented reality application from initial research.
Initial Development 

Live screenshots from inside two varying builds of VLSD [ Created using X-code ] 
Initial Development 

Meditation exploration, combining VLSD MR application with physical designed mediums and binaural sound frequencies
Initial Development  

Real world testing
Development  

Attempting to create the feeling of 'Oceanic Boundlessness' using electric muscle stimulators, based from initial research.
Development 

"Using these mediums cohesively outside in the natural world, creates the feeling of a unified heartbeat" 
Iteration 

Exploring the different third person perspectives that technology can create, based from initial research.
Wired Radio 

I was a guest speaker on two radio shows talking about my project and the uses of psychedelics within psychiatry. How previously LSD and other psychedelics were prescribed to treat a wide range of mental disorders, specifically LSD was released under the name Delysid. 
But through the vast recreational use in the 60s, the drug became illegal, stopping all medical research in the process.
Further Development  

Exploring the notions of unique experiences using sensors.
Unique Experiences 

Meeting with Aiste Noreikaite to learn about EEG sensors and their uses within tech experiences. How to use Brainwave OSC & Max to create brain controlled applications.
Development  

I designed and created a mobile Galvanic skin response sensor to track users stress levels to be used in the following experiment
Neo- Ayahuasca  

As an exploration of the uses of psychedelics throughout history, specifically native ceremonies like Ayahuasca, I designed an experience where I took two voluntary test subjects on a psychedelic journey through rural parts of London. 
Experiment Results  

After the previous experiment, I attached the test subjects to both an EEG and GSR sensor, to quantify and visualise the psychedelic experience. The test concluded that the subjects Delta waves, used for regeneration and healing, were at a rate of 888% Higher than normal, providing evidence towards the drugs healing qualities.
Final Development  

A working blueprint for Techno-Psychedelic Therapy Version 1 
Final Development 

Working prototype
Build 

A fully functioning prototype designed and created in an Eco-Futurist style to visualise the possible future that is the cohesive connection between humanity, technology and nature.
Speculative Futures 

Speculating on the future of mental health medication and the form it will take. Prescribing technological experiences and nanotechnologies in the same way we are prescribed ingestible medications.
Exhibition Space 

Hyphen - Goldsmiths BA Design Degree Show - Truman Brewery, Shoreditch, London
[Film - Gabriel Moraes]
Next Steps 

In the future I would love to be able to continue TPT with up to date technology, and create not just the piece itself, but a book of varying therapy practices you can undergo using the piece.