In ArtGr698, we have learned design+sound. It was my first time working on sound as a designer. It was such a new world. Even though I have used music as the background of a movie, I never thought it could be one of the genres of design. Reading articles and watching movies allowed me to learn about sound as a starting point with design.
Project1. Listening Maps // Fareway store
Closing my eyes and carefully listening to sounds around me was a unique experience. However, the question about how to map a sound was a strange requirement for project 1 because I have never thought that I could draw sound. Asked one place to listen to sound and the number of required visiting was twice.
A place which first came to mind was the Fareway store in my neighborhood, which is familiar with me; I visit at least once a week. I made a big structure of the store to separate sections on it. After that, I visited each section to draw sounds, by listening to sounds around it. Each section had different sounds depending on its functions. For instance, daily product had huge electronic sounds, meat section produced a lot of conversations with people, asking their needs and helps, and counter section produced tagging pick sounds of barcode readers. I tried to listen to differences from each section. Also, I used different colors to designate features such as blue for refrigerators, green for the conversation of customers, brown for the service clerks, and red for the counter.
Lastly, I focused my attention on listening to intonations of the conversation and volumes of the sound. Producing an image of the sound was not easy and I had to depict the feelings that I got from the sounds. It was an interesting experience.
Project1 : http://www.swiriwon.com/blog/?p=31
Project2. Object, Materiality and Context // Wristwatch
In this class we made a small microphone to be used as a tool of making sound. The second project was that of making sounds with design principles. I was excited at that time because the tool that I made produced sounds. I chose my wristwatch, which has patterned texture on the bands and has the sound of the watch hand to record sounds. I tried to produce sounds from most surfaces of the watch and wanted to use the turning sound of the watch hand as a background sound. In particular, the bands made unique sounds that can be used for many design principles. Unfortunately, I could not record the original sound of the watch hand turning, so I used a sound that I made with my wristwatch that is similar sound with the watch hand.
Also, I used other materials to generate sounds such as brush, plastic stick, and microphone. The process to make all sounds was so exiting because there were sounds I made were out of my intention and some good sounds that were unintentional. My next goal is to mix sounds with what I made and make a story about "Time" in terms of my object, a wristwatch.
Project3. Sonic intervention // Candy game
The aim of this project was to make a sonic intervention that interacts with people with sound. I made a story with questions about how I could give people a moment to enjoy during busy days. I focused on exploring the process of the activity. What I chose for that activity was candy game.
It was so simple to execute. I made disks that users could use to make a goal into the basket. After gaming, as a reward, they could get some candies. I set up the game with two speakers near it and produced fake interaction sounds to encourage players while playing the game. Actually, I did not like the candies that I used for the game and they were waiting to be consumed at home. It was a good opportunity for me because I could provide people with an enjoyment and they could consume all the candies that I did not like.
I placed the game in COD building in the short stairwell and provided instructions, asking people to shoot disks into the basket on the first floor. Moreover, I generated fake sounds to encourage their activity while watching their reaction, like the machine reacting with their movements.
First, I asked my friend to play it as a preview game. He argued that it was so hard to make a goal, and asked what is the rule for loosing the game. Moreover, he asked whether he needed to put the disks back in the basket after the game. I tested the game afterward; however, his arguments seemed too concerned about the game. It may be his personality. The game continued and I had to move up and down to pick the disks from the first floor near the basket and to change memory cards in the video cameras. I installed two cameras and took videos in four different places to provide different perspectives.
Second, I found a really interesting reaction from the instruction. I used a bowl for disks and a small whicker basket for candies. The basket they had to put disks in was on the first floor; however, after reading an instruction they searched for the basket they could put disks in and they chose the basket for candies. Therefore, I had to put an arrow on the right side of the instruction to guide their eyes and exchanged the containers; the bowl for candies and the basket for disks to avoid thinking that the basket is the basket for candies.
With several tests and observations, I found people reacting more when they listened to music or sounds coming for interaction of their movement. If there were no sounds, people easily skipped the game; however, they acted more actively, when sound interacted with players. It was an exciting observation.
Project4. Headphones Designed for a Specific Context // Wind Helmetphone
The goal for project four was to make a headphone in a specific context. What I prepared for project four was to make a headphone to generate the sound of wind. The area where I am living has topographical features that produce strong wind and tornados especially in spring.
I want to make a headphone that could hear sounds from every angle around us. Therefore, I chose a helmet for the headphone. I planned how to generate sound into it and what kind of shapes needed to produce harmonious sounds. It was not difficult to penetrate holes in the helmet; however, it was time consuming work.
Accumulating wind sounds from the outside was not easy work. I had to try several methods to make clear sound. The sounds were not clear from what I could hear and a lot of bothersome sounds came along with it. I had to use a small microphone to record the sounds. Also to avoid the other sounds to be recorded from outside such as people, cars, other materials' sounds, I recorded wind sounds alone and added it when editing the movie. I think more then six recordings were attempted to get clearer sounds. Searching for the places where strong wind blows was the other challenge of the project. Between the buildings was the perfect place I could record sounds.
It was an interesting activity that I could use several different materials for the decoration of the helmet and thinking of the directions where wind sounds would come with ease. To provide more natural feeling, I used lace rolled on the surface of the tubes. What surprised me about this project was my helmet produced harmonious sounds. When preparing it, I was curious about what kind of sound it would generate. The sounds were so beautiful and unique. If I can make the other helmet producing unique sound, it will be a more fun project since I have the experience making it.