Sound is a powerful thing. It can make you feel things. Happiness or sadness, excitement or fear, anger or total tranquility. It can also evoke strong memories – take you back to special time or place. Your first kiss, for example, or it could take you back to best holiday you ever had.
We want to explore the emotional aspect of sound and the effect it has on people’s everyday lives. Do you listen to a particular song before starting your day? Is there a sound you just couldn’t live without? A motivational speech by your favourite sports personality, musician or national icon to get you pumped!
But sometimes our favourite sounds aren’t there when we want them to be. Is it possible to get that same rush of emotion in a way that doesn’t involve sound? How can we create a meaningful interaction that transforms sound into some other emotional form. Can a sound reach you in more ways than one by stimulating your other senses? Perhaps something more visual, or maybe something physical that you can touch and keep with you always, a constant reminder of what’s truly important in your life.
Sound is a powerful thing, and it has the potential to be so much more.
Naoto Fukasawa is a Japanese industrial designer who created the ‘Without Thought’ design philosophy. He uses entrenched human behaviour to create pieces people will instinctively be able to interact with, without the need for explanation.
His MUJI CD player is a great example of this subconscious interaction. His reasoning behind the pull cord idea was to re-enact the motion and psychology associated with a pull cord fan. He wished the user to walk into a room and pull the cord instinctively. Their mind would then prepare them for the cool breeze of air and instead they would be hit with the flow of music instead.
Cybraphon is a project from Edinburgh-based artist collective FOUND, consisting of Ziggy Campbell, Simon Kirby and Tommy Perman.
Inspired by early 19th century mechanical bands such as the nickelodeon, Cybraphon is an interactive version of a mechanical band in a box. Consisting of a series of robotic instruments housed in a large display case, Cybraphon behaves like a real band. Image conscious and emotional, the band’s performance is affected by online community opinion as it searches the web for reviews and comments about itself 24 hours a day.
Welcome to [Sound by Design]
We are doing a project to find new and innovative ways to create meaningful interactions through the use of sound. This could be between a digital input and an analogue output or visa versa. It could be an object playing along to a specific track or perhaps music that is created depending on the environment.
There’s no need for a strong user involvement. The interaction could involve people, animals, objects or the elements but the main factor whatever we use is going to be sound.
The project has a very open brief and will encourage us to look beyond the world of design for inspiration. There will be a lot of emphasis on experimentation and communication.
Watch this space…