What is Lacu?

Talk to yourself first.

Lacu is an anonymous interaction with inbuilt AI that encourages users to vocalise and reflect on a problem in order to realise a solution.

Inspired by peoples' tendency to suppress negative issues, Lacu encourages users to verbalise their problems or anxieties and thereby stimulate a different area of the brain.

By externalising thoughts and so viewing them as a third party would, the user is more likely to accept the existence of the issue, understand the root cause, and identify a way forward. 

Why Lacu?

Mental Health is a Widespread Issue

In 2015, there were 488,000 recorded cases of work related stress depression or anxiety in the UK. It accounted for 37% of all work related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health.

Verbalisation Works

In December 2015, a study published in the British Medical Journal reported patients with severe depression can benefit as much from Talking Therapies as they do from anti-depressant medication.

On Your Terms

In 2013, The British Medical Journal also reported of those referred for Talking Therapies, only half entered treatment. Lacu is the intermediate step. It works with any person in any industry. The user chooses the time, the place and the topic.


How Does Lacu Work?

Users verbalise their issues with Lacu
Lacu's inbuilt AI processes the user's speech and pulls out keywords
Visual and aural feedback actualises the issue for the user
Multiple Lacu feed keywords to a central database enabling hidden issues to be identified

Lacu offers an experience of infinity and isolation, allowing the user to leave reality behind and focus on the mind and self. The sound design both ensures privacy and directs the user’s voice back to their ears, opening a personal conversation. The light interaction design establishes a space of intimate infinity encouraging the user to subconsciously calm down and speak.

Whilst you talk, Lacu converts dialogue into key words. These are both displayed to the user and fed securely into a central database. This data can be used to understand the root causes of recurring issues on a macro scale, and when fed back, help users to find their solution.

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Lacu is a cross disciplinary project by four Innovation Design Engineering MA + MSc students from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art.
Chih Chiu

​Chih is a product designer from Taiwan, currently studying Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London.

In Chih's artistic practice, he uses absurdity, poetry and a range of intriguing materials to create physical objects which question the complex relationship between human and technology.

He has exhibited in Somerset House, Liljevalchs Konsthall in Stockholm and Library of the World Health Organisation in Geneva.

Ken Fujiyoshi

Ken is a Japanese design technologist and currently an Innovation Design Engineering Student at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London.

Having previously studied Computer Science in Tokyo, as a designer he explores the user and social interaction that technology brings to the role of design. 

Previously having worked with with Studio Swine, Takram and Nosigner, Ken is driven by a passion for new approaches to business, social and cultural challenges. 

Ben Moffatt

Ben is a British design engineer with a background in Mechanical Engineering and currently studying Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London.

His ambition is to create widespread societal benefit from small scale innovations. 

Experienced in mechanical and electronics prototyping, Ben brings a design to life. Professionally he has worked in both engineering and UX design for two multinational, FTSE100 / NYSE100 companies.

Eun Kyung Shin

Eun Kyung (Cindy) is a South Korean product designer and currently undertaking Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London.

She believes design-centric thinking is not enough and that in-depth research harmonised with elegant product design is the sweet spot where real innovation flourishes.

Alongside her studies, she works with Autodesk to push the limits of what CAD can achieve in a design environment.