3 weeks in Fall 2013 for Room for Musical Experiences at Umeå Institute of Design (Year 1).

Rock Sofa is a piece of furniture that exposes visitors of Guitars – The Museum to the vibrations of famous rock bass lines and evokes memories of leaning against the back wall of a live concert.

 
 
 
 
 

The Challenge

The challenge was to design an interactive musical installation for visitors to experience music in unexpected and fun ways at one of the largest guitar collection is the world at Guitars – the Museum.

The Inspiration

Inspired by how the Royal Orchestra of Wales plays concerts for deaf children, I decided on trying to come up with a design that people with hearing difficulties would enjoy just as much as everybody else.

How It Works

As soon as museum visitors decide to sit on a Rock Sofa or Rock Chair a large subwoofer will start playing either the bass lines of famous rock songs or tell them an interesting guitar trivia story. The idea is that each piece of furniture has its own stories from its previous life in the back-stage areas of concert venues to tell.

The Build

Each Rock Sofa consists of a sensor that senses when people sit down and get up, a large speaker built into the furniture and an Arduino microprocessor. For this project multiple functioning prototypes as well as an experience video prototype were built.

 
 
The idea was to integrate a subwoofer, a sensor that senses when people sit down or get up, and an Arduino microprocessor within a chair. The subwoofer would then generate enough vibrations to make for an unique musical experience.

The idea was to integrate a subwoofer, a sensor that senses when people sit down or get up, and an Arduino microprocessor within a chair. The subwoofer would then generate enough vibrations to make for an unique musical experience.

The first prototype to validate if I can get Arduino to play MP3 files stored on an onboard memory card. The speaker needed an amplifier to get any significant volume.

The first prototype to validate if I can get Arduino to play MP3 files stored on an onboard memory card. The speaker needed an amplifier to get any significant volume.

Some results of my brainstorming on what a rock sofa could be. Possible inputs and outputs available to interactive furniture. Exploring how arranging furniture changes social context and can be used as an additional input modality.

Some results of my brainstorming on what a rock sofa could be. Possible inputs and outputs available to interactive furniture. Exploring how arranging furniture changes social context and can be used as an additional input modality.

Taking apart a speaker to see what kind of electronics are inside. Picture shows the amplifier component. The final prototype of the seating-detection sensor uses large plates of acrylic, springs and wires and hot glue.

Taking apart a speaker to see what kind of electronics are inside. Picture shows the amplifier component. The final prototype of the seating-detection sensor uses large plates of acrylic, springs and wires and hot glue.

 
 

Press and Next Steps

Rock Sofa was selected from fourteen other concepts by Fredrick Fagerlund, the Head of Public Relations of Guitars – The Museum, to be built and exhibited once the museum opens on 1st February 2014. Rock Sofa was also featured in the newspapers Västerbotten Kurieren and Totalt Umeå.

 
 
DSC03006.jpeg
Västerbottens Kurieren interviewed me about the Rock Sofa concept and featured it in their full-page article on the Guitars museum.

Västerbottens Kurieren interviewed me about the Rock Sofa concept and featured it in their full-page article on the Guitars museum.

 
 

Blog

School Umeå Institute of Design
Class Room for Musical Experiences
Project Partner Guitars – The Museum
Tutors Niklas Andersson, Niklas Wolkert
Year Fall 2013 (3 weeks)
Skills Video Prototyping, Physical Prototyping (Arduino), Storytelling, After Effects
Project Type Individual