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MAINFRAME: Living Technology

MAINFRAME is the heart to our heartless digital infrastructure, enabling these systems to better empathize with our collective emotional well-being.

MAINFRAME-N In Klokgebouw Hallway — © Synthetic State

Designed by Synthetic State, MAINFRAME is a next-generation processor powering emotive technologies, intending to bring life to our lifeless systems.

Integrated within an installation consisting of dynamic lighting, sound and movement, users can interact and connect emotionally.

MAINFRAME Technology

Compared to our digital technology, all based on rigid 1’s and 0’s, MAINFRAME instead flows freely like a wave. As a result, at a deeply fundamental level MAINFRAME is better suited for functions which require a more dynamic and living feel.

Currently in prototype, once fully developed it will be integrated into our cold and lifeless digital systems, acting as the emotional core to this otherwise logical technology. While these existing systems only allow interaction through clicks and swipes, with MAINFRAME they can empathize with users closely.

We need to urgently surround ourselves with living systems which can properly adapt to the collective emotional trends in society. Otherwise current issues such as viral panic, virtual tribalism and algorithmic inequality will only multiply.


A swarm of networked MAINFRAME processors are integrated into the installation, acting as the heart within a geometric structure representing the rigidity of our digital systems.

Using light, sound and movement, it expresses its emotional core to anyone nearby. Through sensors, users can interact freely without technical discrimination; allowing anyone to form a relationship and experience the playfulness of this technology.

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About Synthetic State

Synthetic State is a technology company developing living systems expressed through interactive lighting solutions.

Exploring concepts such as sentience, technological emergence and what it means to be human in an increasingly digital world, Synthetic State seeks to create technology that brings heart into our otherwise heartless technology.

MAINFRAME-N Up Close — © Synthetic State

MAINFRAME-N In Klokgebouw Hallway — © Synthetic State

MAINFRAME-N — © Synthetic State

Strijp-S area, Klokgebouw | Hall 3, Klokgebouw 50 , Map No. C1
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