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Robert Bornn
LifeSense Institute
Vashon-Maury Island, Washington
(206) 463-4284

Robert Bornn

Business Background
Other Interests

Robert Bornn founded LifeSense Institute, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to humanist projects that improve our quality of life.  He initiated the BuildingCircles Organizationin 2005 to create affordable, nature-integrated, and sustainable human shelter. 

Robert is an inventor, entrepreneur, and business mentor.  He has created more than a dozen inventions with five patents granted and others pending during three decades as an inventor.

He founded five R&D companies and directed the research and development of their proprietary medical monitors.  He also established two nonprofit scientific research organizations. 

Robert is also a designer, sculptor, musician, and filmmaker


As a young man in the late 60's Robert found himself in personal need of affordable housing.  He challenged himself to create both indoor and outdoor, tensed fabric habitats for alternative living that would be compatible with his artistic nature and love of the outdoors.  Robert's first fabric environments were inspired by Buckminster Fuller's domes and Frei Otto's tensioned structures.   His designs included a tensed fabric and acrylic biofeedback installation at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York City in 1969, Contemplation Environments exhibit.

Robert's interest in affordable and sustainable housing and energy solutions goes back to the early 1970s when he purchased an island in Maine to establish an alternative residential community.  The design was based on his then new principals of "psychoarchitecture" (R. Bornn, "Psychoarchitecture," Island Quarterly, February, 1972), emphasizing the importance of personal residential space in shaping individuals and relationships.

As the years have passed, Robert has maintained his interest in alternative energy solutions and sustainable, affordable housing and the creation of alternative communities, both virtual and "real-world."  In addition to housing designs, Robert creates large scale, interior and exterior installations that are unique, sculptural environments for contemplation, work, living, or entertainment. 

Robet has also been creating living sculpture in a style he terms "enchanted naturalism."  These kinetic environments use the elements of stone, moving water, plants, sound, and light.  They have included an indoor waterfall and fish pond within a free-form, tensioned fabric environment in Silicon Valley.  He also designed and built a large waterfall and pond with stepping stones to a meditation island on a private estate in Saratoga, California. 

By 2003 Robert had revisited the use of ferrocement in Mendocino, California to create other large-scale, one-of-a-kind environments.  He designed and built a ferrocement installation, Oshonia at the Casa del Mar estate in Caspar, California.  Oshonia, is a ferrocement, sea stack-like "grotto," measuring approximately 18' L x 8' W x 8' H.  It is complemented by natural plant growth. Ocetus is a ferrocement, scallop shell-like, covered garden bench and wind break.


LifeSense Institute
2006 - Present

Founded LifeSense Institute, a nonprofit corporation to sponsor humanist projects dedicated to improving our quality of life. These projects currently include the Vashon Energy Project initiated in 2006 and educational support for BuildingCircles Organization initiated in 2005.

BuildingCircles Organization 
Executive Director
2005 - Present

Founded BuildingCircles Organization to build affordable and sustainable nature-integrated homes.

SeaDrift Media Productions 
Producer and Director
Founded SeaDrift Media Productions, an independent media production company.  Produced and directed Ocean's Edge-Spirit's Journey DVD and music CD.

LifeSense, LLC 
Founder and President 

Founded company to research and develop his invention, the LifeSense™  personal monitor (for stroke and falls) as well as a number of other proprietary products and services for stroke prevention, education, rehabilitation, and support.  Mr. Bornn is responsible for the company’s primary vision, intellectual property creation, market analysis, strategic planning, team-building, and fund-raising.   LifeSense, LLC acquired the assets of Advanced Input Products, LLC (also founded by Mr. Bornn) including all of its intellectual property.

Advanced Input Products, LLC
Founder and President 

Founded company and invented TopHat™, Companion™, and HiBrow™ ergonomic input devices.

Somnus Corporation 
Founder and President 
(no relation to Somnus Medical Technologies)

Founded by Mr. Bornn initially to provide services to sleep disorders centers, and sleep health information to the public. In 1990 Mr. Bornn refocused the company on medical monitors. 

Genesis Laboratories, Inc.
Founder and President

Established scientific research company to investigate various mechanisms to utilize hypothermia for medical purposes. 

Advanced Medical Technologies, Inc.
Founder and President 

Founded company and raised capital to research, develop, patent, and license the NightWatch™ sleep recording and assessment system. Organized and managed professional team in product research and development, clinical trials, and FDA approval.

Independent Affiliate and Staff Research Associate, Psychophysiology Research Laboratory
Langely Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute University of California San Francisco 

Investigated mechanisms of sleep and cardiovascular concomitants of dreaming. Secured funding from corporate sponsor to examine effects of flotation tank environments on the quality of sleep. Directed sleep research project including: protocol design; rigorous analysis of biohazards; design and implementaton of safety protocols; development of innovative underwater electrophysiological recording techniques; subject recruitment and analysis of subject data.


   1.  BuildingCircles™ nature-integrated affordable green housing solutions
   2.  SolarHarvester™ nature-integrated system for collection of solar thermal energy
   3.  RoadHarvester™ transportation energy recapture system
   4.  WindZyggy™ micro-power generation system
   5.  NightWatch™ ambulatory sleep recording and assessment system
   6.  R-BAND™ respiratory sensor band
   7.  SafeWatch™ cardiorespiratory alert system
   8.  SleepLine™ sleep information audiotext program
   9.  TopHat™, Companion™, and HiBrow™ input devices 
 10.  NeuroWear™ hands-free command technology
 11.  NeuroCom™ hands-free controller engine
 12.  NeuroWave™ hands-free, brain wave-operated controllers
 13.  LifeSense™ personal monitors (for cardiorespiratory events, stroke, and falls)


1.  U.S. Patent No. 4,784,162 (issued November 15, 1988): “Portable, Multi-Channel, Physiological Data Monitoring System”  (I)

2.   U.S. Patent No. 4,827,943 (issued May 9, 1989): “Portable, Multi-Channel, Physiological Data Monitoring System”  (II) 

3.  U.S. Patent No. 5,348,008 (issued September 20, 1994): “Cardiorespiratory Alert System”

4.  U.S. Patent No. 5,353,793 (issued October 11, 1994):  “Sensor Apparatus” 

5.  U.S. Patent No. 5,564,429 (issued October 15, 1996) “Method of Identifying Valid Signal-Carrying Channels in a Cardiorespiratory Alert System” 


Exhibit at San Francisco Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA.
(computing for special needs) 

Built and exhibited Biosis, a multi-channel biofeedback system for neuromuscular rehabilitation and stress reduction. 

Exhibit for Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York City
(Contemplation Environments) 

Built and exhibited a free-form fabric and acrylic environment in which people were totally “immersed” and all lighting and sound were controlled by the visitors’ heart beats, respiration, and galvanic skin response. 


  • Artist and owner of Insculpta Art and Environments.  More than thirty years creating art and environments for private and commercial clients. 

  • Filmmaker, musician, and producer, Ocean's Edge-Spirit's Journey (a non-violent, nature, art movie).  Founded SeaDrift Media Productions (www.seadriftmedia.com). 

  • Forty years as a hand drummer, percussionist, and recording artist.  Artistic and founding director of performing and recording group, DIAJ (Drummers in a Jam).  Performing and recording with his partner, Laura Worth as SoundMoments duo.

  • Professionally mentors other entrepreneurs, inventors, artists, and musicians. (www.bornn.com).


    B.A., Psychology, 1971
    Fordham University, New York, NY

    Stuyvesant High School, New York, NY                                                 Revised 02/05/09 

    Contact Information
    Robert Bornn and Laura Worth
    LifeSense Institute
    P.O. Box 2443
    Vashon Island, WA 98070
    (206) 463-4284


    The Small Print:
    LifeSense Institute is a Washington State nonprofit corporation.
    LifeSense Insitute is registered for solicitations under the Washington State Charitable Solicitations Act, RCW 19.09.
    LifeSense Institute is not currently a tax-exempt organization under IRC 501(c)(3).

    This site is for educational purposes only.  It is not a substitute for professional consultation.
    No claim is made or implied that the ideas, inventions, illustrations, and documents on this site are applicable to any
    housing, building, or land use project.  Nor does the site represent in any way consulting services of any kind.
    Nothing on this site is an offer to sell, transfer, license, or use proprietary technology.

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    Copyright (c) 2006-2009 by Robert Bornn and Laura Worth.  All rights reserved.
    LifeSense Institute, BuildingCircles, Vashon Energy Project, Project Solar Harvest, Solar Harvester,
    Imagine * Facilitate * Share, and Alternative energy for life are trademarks of Robert Bornn and Laura Worth.

    Photos by Robert Bornn.
    Web site by Laura Worth Web Design.