Warning: this article includes graphic images some readers may find disturbing.

A mask that features materials from the Dead Sea is Israeli designer-slash-researcher Erez Nevi Pana’s response to the Design to De-Stress Challenge featured in Frame 119. In each issue, five emerging designers are challenged to look to the possible future as they respond to a prominent contemporary topic. Insomnia, anxiety and other stress-related conditions are alarmingly more commonplace than ever before. Particularly, working professionals who feel the pressure to maintain an ‘always-on’ attitude in order to succeed are steadily falling victim to burnout. Erez Nevi Pana encourages the people of today to open their eyes using his mineral rich, meditative tool.

Israeli designer-slash-researcher presents his concept - a Dead Sea mineral mask - as a new way to improve mental wellbeing and self-healing.

What inspired your concept?

Most of us in the West are affected by stress-related illnesses, because we limit ourselves to one state of being, based on the idea that competition is the way to success. This attitude takes away the essence of harmony, the very thing that supports life’s most enjoyable, peaceful experiences.

How do you plan to change the situation?

I’m convinced that stress has an impact on people who do not meditate and who are most likely unaware of the power of consciousness. My design can help them use the state of consciousness for self-healing.

Meditation is a great tool. We can be our own cures.

Can we call it a placebo?

Possibly. Participants in medical experiments who are given placebo pills often have a positive outcome – one that’s similar to that of participants who are given the actual drug. Body-mind researcher Dr Joe Dispenza says that magic at its greatest occurs when we are one with our consciousness and that meditation is a great tool. We can be our own cures.

Please explain your design.

It’s a mask made of natural, locally sourced materials. By covering the eyes with the mask while floating in water, you can connect to your inner self, block out distractions, and relax physically, mentally and emotionally. You’re left with nothing other than consciousness itself, which inevitably leads to self-healing and to a deeper connection with the source.

The main 'ingredients' in Nevi Pana’s mask are petioles of acacia trees and minerals found in the Dead Sea.

How is wearing the mask different from floating in the sea and closing your eyes?

Why do we use cutlery instead of eating with our hands? Why do we sit on a chair instead of squatting on the ground? The mask is basically an eye covering that helps you to enter a meditative state. It’s actually a tool more than a placebo.

Will each person who wears the mask have a different experience?

The mask is more localized then personalized. I collected the petioles of acacia trees on the shores of the Dead Sea and wove them to make the mask. Then I immersed the mask in the Dead Sea for a week to create a crystalized layer of essential minerals that strengthened the mask and made it more opaque. Among the benefits of minerals from the Dead Sea are an improved sense of relaxation, a well-nourished skin and an activated blood system.

Do you need to be naked to wear the mask, as shown in the image?

If you ask me, we should always be naked.