< R E T U R N

How can we make a musical experience TANGIBLE?



Individual project

4 weeks

Wall of Sounds is an interactive installation, proposed to entertain visitors at Guitars - The Museum in Umeå, Sweden.

The purpose of this installation is to translate some of the synaesthetical dimensions of a live show into a room. Interacting with physical elements to create visual and audible interference in the room, enabling the visitors to bond to each other and contemplate the patterns of light and sound. The shapes and multiple points of interaction make the installation accessible to all kinds of visitors, adults and kids.  

The project was created based on an experience of a first concert. The interviewee went to Stockholm for the first time in his life to watch it's favourite band. The feeling of being small in the crowd while contemplating the concert was used as inspiration. The downsides of his experience were also used: the installation tries to compensate the lack of surprise about the band, mentioned by the interviewee.


A wall of light and sound


The concept takes place in a dedicated hall at the museum. The user is attracted by a subtle light and sound to interact with the wall. When each shape is placed in a correspondent spot, a computer generated pattern is created, together with a sound clip. The overlap of multiple sound clips is represented by the collision of graphic patterns. 

The prototype


To demonstrate the interaction and feasibility, I've created a prototype of one module that should be replicated over an entire wall. The prototype was created using Processing, Arduino, LDR sensors and a Projector connected to a computer.


The Process


As our first course, the objectives were to translate collected musical experiences into museum installations to involve a larger public. We collected these musical experiences by interviewing people around the city and school. These experiences we transformed into narratives, synthesised in a term and represented visually with a photography exercise. After that we turned all content into propaganda posters that were exhibited around the school. In each step students exchanged their material amongst them. The final ones were the brainstorming, building and presentation of the installation concept.

Local media coverage and feedback


The local newspaper Vasterbötten Kuriren was invited to watch the presentations to the museum representative. The client's feedback was very positive, especially after interacting with the prototype. The interview, in free translation, mentions:

Madyana Torres de Souza from Brazil studies at Umeå Institute of Design and appreciates the collaboration with the Guitar museum. “This school is known for collaborating with major international companies. It’s fun and interesting that we may work with someone locally here in Umeå as well”, she says.

Madyanas idea is an interactive sound wall, Interactive Wall of Sounds. Sound and light are controlled with crystals attached on the way. “Children can play with them”, she says.

Fredrik Fagerlund, Guitars responsible, explains that this is the purpose of the collaboration with the Institute of Design:
“We want to have an experience with wide attractions even for children and teenagers. If a family come here from Germany we don’t want that only daddy get a good experience. The museum will provide something for everyone.”
— Västerbotten Kuriren