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Zaha's Mind shows a new kind of intelligence ...

The New Millennium Experience Company (nmec) was today set to unveil Zaha Hadid's Mind Zone as the first of a new generation of intelligent buildings endowed with 'Smart-Fibre technology' - to arm visitors with information on the varying loadings being put on the structure.

Fitted with six sensors bonded onto steel beams, the zone, currently under construction, will show loadings at high-strain locations and act like a 'brain and nervous system'. An optical sensor at each location will monitor the corresponding temperatures. The technology, developed for yacht design, will have deep significance, said the nmec, for buildings constructed on fault lines - such as those in the recent catastrophe in Turkey. This may lead to a building which can self-evacuate when it senses dangerous changes.

Hadid was set to unveil the zone at a press event at the Dome this morning. The Mind Zone, jointly sponsored by British Aerospace and Marconi, combines art and science, and will 'delve into the world of perception and illusion' with up to 20 exhibits inside. It will house specially commissioned art and sculptures from the new wave of British artists, alongside optical illusions, exhibits of 'cutting-edge technology', as well as 'a maze- like architectural landscape which appears to defy gravity'. Visitors will journey into tunnels, wide decks, corridors, chambers and even hidden staircases.

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