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benjamin dove | interaction design institute ivrea, 2003 - 2005
january 2004

(andreea chelaru, ben dove)

audiograffiti - microphone lit up

Following on directly from soundtrack, we worked on refining the realisation of the 'space with an audio memory' concept, with the target of making an installation to function as a 'standalone' in an exhibition environment, during the Salone Del Mobile, Milan, April 14 - 19, 2004. This was a two week workshop, ending with an exhibition of the work.

audiograffiti - salone workshop notes

This meant that it had to be easy enough to understand and use without a personal guide, and constructed well enough so it could physically withstand hours of use.

audiograffiti - other ideas sketch

The process began with a rapid rethinking of what we were interested in doing, and how it would fit in with a school exhibition as a whole. We decided to strip the concept to its basic components and concentrate on the sound interaction qualities.

We named the project 'Audiograffiti' after it became clear that the main process of allowing people to leave sonic marks in space could be seen as analogous to leaving visual graffiti on walls and other public surfaces. For this concept, it became unnecessary to make sound move through a space over time, rather more relevant to make it possible to leave audio marks at different points within a space.

audiograffiti - new design sketch

We redesigned the space and layout, and built the first iteration of the new design involving use of light to enhance the interaction and give a stronger user feedback than there was in the original sountrack implementation. The core of the design became footswitches which activated the sound recording, and illuminated the hanging microphones to indicate the recording.

audiograffiti - production

Each footswitch had a corresponding microphone above it. For the first iteration we used 2 sets of footswitches/microphones.

All audio samples are saved to the computer hard disk.

audiograffiti - dry run

From the first iteration of the new version/concept, we proceeded to make the final design, multiplying sets of footswitches/microphones in the space - allowing people to create samples/leave audio marks at differents places in the ciccio space - different points in the stereo field.

audiograffiti - design plan/layout

The developments involved addition of new technical complications, wheras before we could rely on simple USB mouse based switches to activate the recording/microphone lighting, we now needed to use a series of relays switches and a microcontroller for each computer (two computers, one for each row of switches/microphones) in order to dynamically control audio input and recording activation for many microphones and switches into single computers.

audiograffiti - relay plan sketch
audiograffiti - microphones, relay board and microcontroller

The new finalised design was then demonstrated in the school exhibition at bunet internet cafe, as an experiment to see how the public would react to the schools projects, and how well our projects survive real world use.

audiograffiti - this is today - bunet press release
bunet press release

audiograffiti - bunet exhibition - compilation of some captured sound samples from the evening (mp3, 6.8mb)
compilation of some captured sound samples from the evening (mp3, 6.8mb)
(please note, the clicks in the audio are spikes in the audio signal caused by the switching of the relays - this is something to be fixed in the future, through use of a hardware or software delay, to avoid recording this signal spike/clicking).

The test run proved very positive, people seemed to enjoy the interaction.

The next stage in this process is fine tuning the construction and design as we approach the Salone del Mobile Exhibition.

audiograffiti - press release picture
audiograffiti - press release picture detail
audiograffiti - this is today - salone press release
salone press release
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