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05 August 2021

Kalostasis: major installation on aorta featured at Venice Biennale 2021

The major installation between heart researchers and designers is on display at the Venice Biennale

Image: Federico Vespignani

Kalostasis, an interactive installation with animated blood flow of the heart based on King’s research on cardiac valves, developed with heart researcher Dr Pablo Lamata, was featured at the Venice Biennale 2021 for the TIME SAPCE EXISTENCE exhibition.

Inspired by the heart’s anatomy and flow simulations, the installation is a blown-up version of the aorta featuring animations of blood flow. The presence of visitors inside the virtual space activates different levels of the heart's flow and rhythm, matching the extremes of a heart's function, and turbulences that could occur.

The installation at TIME SPACE EXISTENCE was also redesigned into an immersive VR experience whereby wearing goggles visitors are able to literally enter into the artery and observe it from within.

The data has been translated and interpreted by artists Cellule studio and Lucy Harcastle, from research by Professor Pablo Lamata and team who investigate health of cardiac valves.

As engineers in cardiovascular medicine, we thrive studying the wonders of our cardiac machinery. Kalostasis is our attempt to create a glimpse of that wonder. It is our means to create conversations about a future healthcare informed by our computational digital twin, and to promote the choice of healthy lifestyle options that are our best weapon against cardiovascular disease.

Heart researcher and scientific lead of the Kalostasis project, Professor Pablo Lamata from the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences

Cultural mediators present on site reported people enjoyed the VR experience, as it is educational and playful at the same time, and that we have had positive feedbacks especially from younger visitors.  

Amidst the innovative design projects exhibited in the 2021 edition of Time-Space Existence, the European Cultural Centre - Italy is proud to present Kalostasis, an immersive journey inside the human body. The project was selected for the architecture biennial exhibition for being a cutting-edge installation which harmonically combines science, technology and design, whilst not only amazing visitors with its aesthetics but also sharing knowledge in an immediate and effective way.

Suzanne van der Borg, Exhibition Organizer at the European Cultural Centre - Italy, who selected the project for Time Space Existence 2021

Kalostasis was funded by King’s College London and the Wellcome Trust, and shaped after workshops with members from British Heart Foundation and Evelina Children’s Heart Organisation

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