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Unicef 3D prints mental health awareness art installation “On Our Minds”

Unicef and Domestic Data Streamers have collaborated with us at BCN3D to create a mental health awareness art installation of 3D printed busts to spark conversations about issues children face today as a result of the pandemic.

With complex issues of anxiety, stress, and depression at an all-time high from the pandemic, Unicef approached creative agency Domestic Data Streamers with a shocking report on the number of children in France suffering from these illnesses. Domestic Data Streamers took this information on board and created 10 busts of real children for a thought-provoking art installation on the streets of Paris.  

Spreading the word

Unicef's mental health awareness art

With millions across the globe experiencing feelings from these new alien situations circumstances that have arisen during the pandemic, Unicef and Domestic Data Streamers agreed that it was time to make a crucial stand, by ensuring children were part of the discussion at the Global Summit of Mental Health 2021 in Paris. 

Busts of ten children with a variety of mental health issues were printed, with each bust representing the alarming number of 100.000 children aged 15-24 experiencing anxiety or depression in France

Usually, we do homages to kings and queens and older people and conquerors. We thought it would be a beautiful idea to pay homage to all these young people who have been suffering in especially difficult conditions during the pandemic.” – Martina Nadal, Head of Social Impact at Domestic Data Streamers. 

For three days, they chose to take the mental health awareness art installation to the streets for visibility and accessibility to everyone, as mental health is something that affects all ages. The setting not only engaged members of the public but specifically targeted the policy-makers of the summit as they entered. 

The printed parts were accompanied by volunteers, who told real stories of their own experiences with mental health struggles in the hope that their own experiences could help others. The volunteers covered a vast range of topics such as racism, cyberbullying, and the pressure of having such a busy school schedule that they lacked the time to truly get to know themselves.

From the 3D printer to the streets of Paris

3D printed busts

For this project, time was of the essence, as was attention to detail. 3D printing provided the quick production they were looking for, without compromising the quality that could be obtained for the replicas of real children’s faces. Since Domestic Data Streamers have frequently worked with us at BCN3D and use our printers for their prototyping, testing, and production processes, they decided to make use of the print farm of Epsilon W50s in our offices in Barcelona. 

Mental health awareness art bust

The busts were printed in ABS for a smooth finish and then painted in bright colors.  

“We chose to use colors in the installation, first of all, because even if mental health is a really serious topic we still wanted it to be joyful because it speaks about childhood, and also because in that way we could represent diversity.” – Natalia Santolaria, Creative Director of Domestic Data Streamers. 

The images of these busts boldly stood against backdrops of Parisian landmarks were certainly unmissable. The conversations had, in combination with Domestic Data Streamer’s innovation with new technologies and the continuous efforts of Unicef to promote understanding of mental health issues, will surely continue to spread far and wide.