Embla | William Pepera

Embla Sympathetic Environments

Stacks Image 7


Stress and anxiety are natural responses to perceived threat. However, when they become chronic and ongoing, that can have an adverse effect on health and wellbeing.


Heating, lighting, sound and other environmental factors can subtly yet greatly affect our state of mind and physiology through our senses.


Working environments which adapt based on individual preferences and biometric data to reduce stress, induce alertness amongst other desired physiological responses.

Research and Background

Stacks Image 91

The State of Workplace Stress

From an initial brief of ‘Physical Augementation in the future’, an investigation of current attempts at human augmentation highlighted the connection between our physical and mental states, as increasing amounts of technology begin to interface with our brain, nervous system and senses. Stress management is an area of concern in our increasingly connected lives. Actively trying to manage one’s stress can sometimes make it worse, as the stress itself becomes an area of concern and cause of anxierty. Methods of autonomous and passive stress management could address this.

Market Analysis

Stacks Image 13

Concept Development

Stacks Image 17

Sympathetic Environments

Our environements are an extenstion of our bodies and can have a profound impact on our mental and physical state through our senses. Temperatures above 21° C have been shown to trigger thermo-sensitive physiological mechanisms. The disruption of the circadian rhythm is proven to lead to serious physical and mental health problems, including impulsivity, reduced mental flexibility and lower levels of happiness. The sense of smell demonstrates a powerful link between the nose, the limbic system and emotional states. Embla reduces stress by providing localised workplace environments that adapt to the user’s stress level.

Stacks Image 21

System Design

Knowing what stresses them out and what calms them down is of huge value to the user. They will be the only one with guaranteed access to all of their personal data. They can use this to develop insights about themselves, which sort of environments suit them best, when, where and how they work best. They will have the option to share this data with whomever they like and will be able to seek help and inform others about their condition with reliable data, including healthcare professionals, without worrying as much about not being believed.

Stacks Image 24
Stacks Image 26
Stacks Image 29

Sensing Stress

A wrist wearable collects the biomteric data, heart rate and galvanic-skin response, to get an indication of the user’s stress level.

Stacks Image 42
Stacks Image 32
Stacks Image 35
Stacks Image 37

After putting together the physical testing environment, the hard work suddenly seemed a lot easier.

Hardly surprising, given temperature controlled fans, adjustable lighting and Muji aroma diffuser.

Next Project

Stacks Image 109


Enhance Every Day

Comfort, Convenience, Safety