Soundmites - IDES2000 2016 - Making
Design by Emiline Elangovan
From the prototypes that were produced in teh second assignment of IDES2000, the students were asked to decide on a single project to develop further as a group for the final assignment (worth 20% of the final grade and assessed as an entire class). The entire studio was asked to work together to produce the final product with smaller groups being assigned to specific tasks (ie. design team, project management, construction detailing, system design, programming, electronics, filming, drawing etc.). Soundmites was the project that was chosen for the final assignment. The concept of the project was for a system of reactive machines to be attached to the metal downpipes around the architecture campus (Figure 6). These units would respond to the movement of people around the space by striking the downpipes with various intensities and tempos. Each module consisted of an internal enclosure made of 3d printed ABS plastic that would contain an ultrasonic proximity sensor, a battery pack, a small motor and striking armature, and an Arduino microcontroller. This internal enclosure was designed to sit within a timber case that would waterproof the electronics and provide a clamping mechanism, enabling the Soundmite to be attached to a range of different downpipes. The aim of the project was to generate an altered sonic environment outside the architecture school through a network of these units – programmed with a simple reactive logic to strike the downpipes when they detected a person moving within a certain proximity. While the behaviour of each object was simple, the combination of a dozen units created a chaotic and unpredictable soundscape that changed in response to the activity within the monitored space.