LA MOSTRA DELL PIPI. 05/2012  |   CHAOS IS HEALTH. 03/2012  |   THE LIFE OF PEE. 02/2012 


On January 11th 2012, we held the kick-off group meeting for Aqua Vita, at TNO, Zeist. The meeting was very motivating, counting with the presence of: Prof. Jan van der Greef, Merlijn van Rijswijk, Jan Schroën, Herman van Wietarschen, Mike Thompson and Susana Cámara Leret.

The main topic of discussion was the aim of the analysis and to specify further what would be measured with the samples. One suggestion was to monitor stress, linking the psychosomatic changes with the metabolic data obtained from the urine samples, which would mostly reveal information about diet. As Jan van der Greef suggested, with an increase of adrenaline, cortisol levels also fluctuate in saliva, therefore why not measure other body fluids besides urine? We decided to collect one daily 2mL sample of saliva per person, besides the two 50mL daily urine samples per person, which were already on the agenda.

For the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) aspect of the project, we counted with the expertise of Jan Schroën, who performed a TCM Constitution study of Mike and myself. As Mike has suffered from stress previously, we agreed that it would be interesting to tailor a questionnaire to be filled out by both of us on a daily basis, parallel to the urine and saliva collection. In this manner we hope to obtain relevant information from a TCM perspective, in contrast with the metabolic data from the urine and saliva samples. The results from the constitution analysis were rather surprising as both designers identified very much with their personal diagnosis. TCM considers 5 constitutional elements: wood, fire, metal, water and earth. Mike´s constitution was identified as wood, whilst Susana´s was identified as water. Check out the videos for more details.

It’s interesting to note the poetic and graphicness of TCM concepts in relation to health. They vividly illustrate inner processes, recreating in their descriptions a landscape of their own. This element should be taken into consideration whilst deciding upon the platform / language employed to visualise our system’s processes, considering such inner landscapes as boundaries within which processes change / develop.

As one aim of the measurements will be stress, a suggestion was made to create a “push-button”, something that could intensify / reduce its experience. Thus, a sugar dose was proposed on a selected day of the week and we agreed to have a milkshake or ice cream – something with sufficient sugar and fat – every Sunday of each week, during the period of urine and saliva collection. We will begin looking into the programming / visualisations as soon as possible, with the data sets obtained from the Dance of the Soul project (based on several plasma extractions from different individuals during the span of a day) currently available at the NMC. In this manner we can begin to develop models, whilst proceeding with the urine collections.