Category Archives: Text

Alisdair Kettles Pottery Supplies

We are fortunate enough to have our course technician, Sean Kingsley, who is an expert in ceramics. Not only did he allow us to have a shot on the universities pottery wheel but he recommended us to get in contact with Alisdair Kettles.  Alisdair is a Pottery Supplier based in Kinross, and distributes to our University as well as many other places around Scotland. He kindly agreed to help us out, and allowed us to borrow a Pottery Wheel that he had spare.


We’d really like to say a big thanks to him! If you are interested in pottery, this is the man in the know. Here is his website so please take a look!


The start of a concept

We have begun looking into, what we feel, are the strongest ideas from our generation stage. From the beginning of this project we have always been intrigued in the idea of using sound to create something physicalSomething that that the user can take away and be the only person to understand its true meaning.

To do this we have looked into many different areas of artwork to find outputs that we feel could be manipulated in an appropriate way to capture the personal importance of the recording. Finding the connection between emotion and sound has always been an important factor in this project for us. With this in mind we feel that the success of creating a physical object from a personal recording depends on us creating both a personally unique and desirable object.

The interaction between the recording and finished object is also as important for us as the output. As we will be using personal sounds and music we want them to be translated to the object in a positive manner.


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90 Ideas – How many concepts?

We are nearing the end of the ‘find’ stage of our project. Using the previously mentioned strands of thought we have come up with 90 initial ideas that we are looking at in more depth. It is at this stage we must begin to decide what direction we see ourselves going in. Our aim as a group has always been to create a meaningful interaction from the connection between emotion and sound. Now we must ask ourselves how we wish to achieve this.

Can sounds help us to remember just as much as text? Can we create a musical diary for your life experiences? Can the natural differences between us, such as fingerprints, create an audio profile to be shared? Can household objects be personified to create an emotional connection? Can we take the most personal words we speak and craft something physical?

These are just some of the thoughts we are thinking of developing into concepts.

Sound & Emotion: Tried and Tested

After doing a bit of snooping around and thinking about sound we seem to be settling on this idea of emotion and sound. We wondered how far people have delved into our area interest and found two examples that particularly stood out to us because they ran parallel to our initial thoughts.

The first thing we found is called the Amen Break ScarfCreated by the artist Andrew Salomone, it is a scarf he knitted based on a sample of the Amen Break. He took a sample of the waveform pattern and converted into a bitmapped knitting pattern which he then uploaded into a hacked knitting machine. The knitting pattern repeats over and over the same way the amen break sample gets looped in so many musical compositions. The results are fantastic!

Another source of inspiration is the research done by frogdesign, famous for design Apple products. They have become obsessed with Synesthesia, Greek for “union of the senses”. It is a neurological condition in which two or more sensory experiences are inextricably linked in an individual. Imagine how much richer your world would be if you experience the sound of D-minor through touch or vision. You could enjoy all your favourite songs through richly layered colours and textures. It’s something to think about. And interestingly enough, people who have natuaral synesthesia tend to be pitch perfect. How great would it be to make this gift accessible to anyone!

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Idea Generation

The connection between emotion and sound is different for many people. This has become apparent through our initial research and we are now in the process of thinking about what we have gathered. For many, sound creates an emotional response triggered by the memory of a certain time. One example being a song played by a parent on a long drive, taking the listener back to that time whenever it is heard. Many people were comforted by familiar sounds and conversely many were affected negatively by sudden or uncontrollable noise. Its this emotional interaction that has attracted our attention.

Under the banner of emotion and sound, we have broken our thought process into several separate strands allowing us to begin generating initial ideas. Strands we have looked into include emotion, environment, instinct, physical activity and sound input. Under the emotion strand for example we have begun looking into the memories and how they are interlinked with the sounds we hear everyday.

Over the next week we hope to create more strands and begin to create strong concepts to develop further.

Our initial brainstorm showing our five original strands of thought.

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Project Scope

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.

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Naoto Fukasawa – MUJI CD Player

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.

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Hello world!

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…

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