2nd group meeting

In our second group meeting, we discussed our running idea, the ‘Play’ground’ and it went ok. We were able to get some of our own personal thoughts and ideas about the and where it can go from here I wouldn’t say it was a very successful meeting. As we don’t have an actual agreed upon group project idea yet, we are all just coming up with more ideas that only seem to be branching out but none of them are connecting into a cohesive project that incorporates the aspects we all want. I think that the problem with that is that there are too many main aspects trying to go into this project.

As it stands the ‘play’ground could one of two installations, one that has stations that one or more users can use to create music, the other is a physical playground that when interacted with it creates music. However, now as we try to incorporate all the individual aspects to the project is has now gone to a motion, visual, sensory, interactive installation. And I can honestly say I have no idea how it will all be put together to make one cohesive project.

We did come up with a short list of possible interactions that could happen in a playground that could be made musical;

Swings = pitch, piano, flute

Slide = Chromatic scale

Rope = Chromatic scale, staff bar

Ships Wheel = changes pitch/octave

Picture squares = Match the sound/ pictures to complete the square

Musical Chairs

Dance mat

Just to add to the complexity of the madness, we thought about coordinating the music with visuals that could be projected on the walls, projections that would react to the amount of noise in the room. This then lead to an entirely too long conversation about possible themes for the visuals.

At this point I suggested (only because others in the group were losing focus, talking about roles, visuals and programming for the project) that instead of trying to focus so much on the one idea that we still hadn’t nailed down, that we might just as well begin from scratch, and come up with all new ideas that might meld all these ideas together better.

We came up with a short list of new ideas…but I think we were all just tired and frustrated with having gotten no where that we decided to call it a day. A few of the ideas we thought up were;

Creating visuals, on a stage of some kind, then having the visuals be what creates the music… i.e the music will reflect the visual

A complete installation that allows for the used to use motion to manipulate a visual and having the audio react to the both

A sensory/motion white board that would allow a user to select a scene then to drag and drop visuals into that scene, then have the scene come to live both visually and auditory.

The last was of a hugh motion sensored room, in which the human body becomes the paint brush.

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1st group meeting

For the first time today, the entire class got the opportunity to sit with their group (or to speak to others about possibly creating a group) my group was already formed, so we just set about more brain storming. We already had a basic idea from the week before that we had all taken too. The idea was for an interactive ‘play’ground that would create music as the user interacted with the objects within the playground.

As a group we just went about thinking of any and all possibilities for a playground.

The first idea was of a playground with ‘stations’ that would be different games or interactions that would allow the user to play and create music, while they learn about music from all the different stations.

The second idea was of an actual playground, in which all the different aspects of the playground,for instance the swings, slide, monkey bars etc are all wired and as the user interacts with each piece the playground and the user become the instrument.

We also tried to think of ideas, outside of the playground, I combined my idea with the idea generation we did in class the week before, ‘painting with music’, this would allow for a user to paint using music. We thought of different ways in which the music could be used to create a visual, we thought about using note scale, note length, pitch, rhythm and other musical techniques to represent different colours or different shapes to ‘paint’ a picture while they played.

As we idea generated each of the supervising lectures came around to speak to us, this was a help and a hindrance all at the same time. Although we appreciated what the lectures were saying and some were very enthusiastic about the idea and where it could go from there, I got a sense that one wasn’t as enthusiastic. Although we did get to speak to them and they did help to navigate us away from getting to stuck on one idea, before we’d really narrowed down what the project would be. It was very confusing being told to go bigger and better by one lecturer then being told to think smaller by another.

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Group Formation

After our Pecha Kucha presentations, we all had a basic idea of what we might want to do for our projects, or at the very least an generally area in which we would like to work in, I still want to work in the Audio area. To help us to narrow down are field, in class we all got into groups based only on the area we wanted to work in, not our own personal ideas. I found this is be immensely helpful, as I said before I wasn’t even a wear their was others interested in doing audio, and i’m sure there must have been others in the class who felt the same way. Plus it was just interesting to see what areas were being covered and different yet unilateral ideas that have weaved in and out of all class.

There was only four people who were interested in doing an audio based project, myself, Raymond, Lauren and David. With all of us having played, studied or just have a passion for music in one form or another, we decided that since we were the only people in the class interested in doing that we should just go ahead already and form a group. I am delighted about my group, I have personally worked with each one and have even worked with combinations of the three of the years in other projects. I know they are all passionate about the topic, hard working and willing to committee to getting a great, well produced project up and running.

Once we had decided that we could work in a group together we spent the rest of the class to brain storm around the area of audio, in the short hour we were in the class we managed to come up with so many new and verifying ideas.

This is the first initial brain storm the group did as a whole. It combines all of our ideas, as well as new ones we just came up with together.

This is the first initial brain storm the group did as a whole. It combines all of our ideas, as well as new ones we just came up with together.

Some of the new, combined ideas include;

An audio visual white noise room

Musical chairs

Musical ropes

An interactive white board (where music can be drawn onto a staff bar, then played once completed)

A musical rubix cube

‘Live’ conducting an orchestra

Musical ‘dance’ mats

Music theory game that teaches while you play

LARGE SCALE musical hide and seek

A ‘playground’ that creates music when you interact with it

However, the more ideas we came up with the more confused and ungrounded they became, so with the help of a lecturer we were able to nail down the keys aspects that we felt were the most import to us. We came up with a short ,but concise, bullet point list of aspects we knew we wanted in the project.

Collaborative/Team Work

Music creation

Play through music

Immersive

Physical Object

Interactive (with unexpected outcome)

Sensory

Motion

Visual & Audio

After the formation of the group and just being able to brain storm with others who are interested in the same generally idea as me I have to say i’m excited to see what will happen now. We are no where near nailing down an idea, but at least at this point I knew I am working with others I know and trust, doing a project in an area we are all interested in, and I can’t wait to begin creating something imaginative, fun, and creative… something that hopefully hasn’t been seen before!

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Purpose of play

So we just had our 3 class and we were able to present our basic ideas for our project. I went with the second idea I developed on, the adult play zone/fort, but listening to other peoples project ideas it has really inspired me to go back to my original idea of playing music. After discussing in class what play evokes with-in us, I thought about what playing music has made me feel over the years. So again I sat down and thought about play and what it meant to me.

Play to me I still remember the emense sense of accomplishment and pride in myself when I was able to make a sound out of my instrument, to me the feelings of freedom and joy have always been associated with playing music. I would like to recreate those feelings for adults and children alike, at the same time teaching them playing music.

What is the purpose of play? To me the purpose of playing is for you to enjoy what you’re doing and be relaxed doing it. This re;eaves stress, improves heath, allows for a recharging of the batteries, which we all need to be able to approach life with a balanced outlook. Play helps us to establish social connections, escape from our mundane every-day lives, it invigorates us, it can be used as a learning town, as well as just for entertainment value. It can transport someone back to a moment in time and have them laughing on the floor, so why is something so influential no longer apart of our everyday lives? I know I neither play my instrument or just play any one… and i have to say its actually quite sad.

I had originally thought about trying to create an interactive music station, one that would have used sensors to detect to the movement of fingers to tricker a note to be played, giving the audience the experience of playing an instrument with out actually knowing how to play it. Not unlike an electrical instrument, but with more feed back so the user has an oppertunity to learn.

Examples of electronic instruments. If a real instrument could be wired to a computer, the user could not only play to make a note, but learn from the feed back given.

Examples of electronic instruments. If a real instrument could be wired to a computer, the user could not only play to make a note, but the notes could be displayed on a screen, or even appear on sheet music. Teaching notes, counts and embellishments to the music.

My over all goal for the finished product would be that a user could pick up a physically wired instrument and by simply pressing a key a note will be played, the notes will coinside with the chormatic notes of the instrument. I feel giving people an oppertunity to play an instrument could be really benifital, not only for kids begining to learn, but also for adults who think they can’t learn an instrument any more. Interacting with the musical process like that could help users learn fingers, notes and basic rhythms.

I have also begun thinking about bringing in visuals. I.e. the playing of a note would bring an image up on screen, the more notes the more images and the more images the more detailed the final picture will be, a visual representation of the music the user just played.

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Pecha Kucha

Screen shot 2014-10-01 at 16.09.39

 

We had our Pecha Kucha presentations Today, well the class did, I was still so ill I was only able to present my own then leave. This means that I missed everyone else’s presentations, which I have to admit i’m a little disappointed about. I know most of the people in the class and have worked with a majority of them in the past, but there are a few new students who I would like to have seen present.

The fast pace, yet methodical style of the Pecha Kucha presentation is new to me, but I rather enjoyed it. Not being able to use words forced me to think about myself, and my skills in picture form, almost like an advertisement . It was hard at first trying to think of things to say that wouldn’t make me feel and sound like i was bragging, but then a friend made a point that I should almost be bragging becuase this would show the class that i’m proud of the work i’ve done and will continue to make more work i can be proud of. So with that in mind I did manage to finally sit down and write  out the reasons I felt i would be a good group member.

However, we did get an opportunity to do a small idea pitch in class, so that did help to narrow a field of possible group members, but I think it would be best to wait until we’ve all had a change to do our actual idea presentations in November to decide who i might like to work with.

From what i’ve seen and heard from other people I know there are going to be a few ideas i’d defiantly be interested in. I was excited to learn that people from the other class were considering doing music as well, this gave me some hope and inspiration not to give up on my original idea, of the interactive musical instrument/station.

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Idea development

At the start of week 2 I came down with a dose of the flu, this put me back in my progress of idea generation, and any subsequent research that may have come with these ideas. The more I put off researching and developing new ideas the more concerned I became about not being able to come up with an idea I felt passionate about, but one that I also felt could be flexible, not to mention plausible.

I had originally thought about trying to create an interactive music station, one that would have used sensors to detect to the movement of fingers to tricker a note to be played, giving the audience the experience of playing an instrument with out actually knowing how to play it. One thing that inspired this idea was a video of orchestra set up in the middle of the street, who are waiting for pedestrians to conduct them. The joy and excitement you see on the pedestrians face made me thing about how exciting it was for me the first time I played music, I want to try to replicate that for others.

However the more I began to develop on the idea the more complicated it become in my head and the less I could get down on paper.

In our first Project Management class in week 2, we were asked a few simple questions about what play meant to us, as first music came to mind, but being as unconfident in my original idea I asked myself the same questions again, this time not allowing myself to rely simply on music as a quick and easy answer.

What does play mean to me? Play to mean can mean many things, It can be playing an instrument, it could mean play with a game or toy, play around with an animal, play Cards or other gambling games, but one idea that stuck in my mind was playing to flirt. As a adult i find I don’t play as much as I could but one way I do play is when I play flirt with the opposite sex… this seemed like a topic that could be interesting and interactive no matter the audience.

The idea what as adults we feel like we have to be in a confined place to play made me think about how much I use to love building and playing in forts, and what a shame it was we couldn’t still build and play in forts… or can we? Who says that as students/adults we can’t just steal away a few mins of ours lives to play in a fort? This brought more questions to my mind, like; would adults/students WANT to play in a fort? If so, what would we want to play even if we got to play in a fort?

This again brought about the idea of the play flirt, I liked the idea but I didn’t want to add it in just because I liked it. This brought me around to thinking about all the different ways that we play over the course of our lives, from childhood in to our teens then into our adults lives. I had a hard time deciding about whether it would be better to have the child only fort, but after thinking about it logically, i came to the conclusion that some things might be offensive to some, so its better off child friendly.

Where and when do I play, w hen and where do other students and adults play? I generally only play around when i’m in private, with close friends or family. In other words in an place I feel I am comfortable and won’t be judge by any on lookers. After asking around, and speaking to other students I got a similar answer from many of them as well. Some where between childhood and adulthood we loose our free spirits and become so consumed by our fear of what others will think of us that we have to hide away to play… but what if we could relive all the best ‘plays’ we have in life in just a few mins?

I then asked myself what games would I want to play if I had a fort? My favorite childhood games that came to mind were, hop scotch, puzzles, coloring and barbies with cars.

Once I had a bit more of a defined idea of what play meant to me, and almost more importantly, what play meant to others.  From this point on I began mentally constructing a large, enclosed fort, with blankets for walls, brightly painted doors, pillows and t.v. screens on the walls ,and of course, loads of games to play.

Inspiration for what the fort could look like, although I would like mine to be big enough for adults to stand in, along side their own kids possibly.

Inspiration for what the fort could look like, although I would like mine to be big enough for adults to stand in, along side their own kids possibly.

I instantly began developing ways make my favorite games as a kid an interactive multimedia experience that would hopefully bring back those joyous moments of my childhood.

Inspiration for hop scotch, I would like to make this interactive as well, but just haven't quite figured out how...

Inspiration for hop scotch, I would like to make this interactive as well, but just haven’t quite figured out how…

This is an almost identical mat to the one i had as a kid, if I could transfer this format to an animation and have it playing on a screen, any one could drive their toy car along the screen as if it was really on the road.

This is an almost identical mat to the one i had as a kid, if I could transfer this format to an animation and have it playing on a screen, any one could drive their toy car along the screen as if it was really on the road.

I have links for inspiration for both digital and interactive coloring and puzzles.

= Colouring

= Puzzle

Improve Everywhere. (2013) Conduct Us, Improve Everywhere available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_cbnBak8RI [29,September,2014]

Tom Van Learhoven. (2009) FluidPaint: An Interactive Digital Painting System using Real Wet Brushes, FluidPaint available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkl782OqqmA  %5B29,September,2014%5D

Enon Landenberg. (2012) The Coca-Cola Zero Video Puzzle, Coke Zero available: http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/the-coca-cola-zero-video-puzzle/ %5B29,September,2014%5D

Classical Fun. (2011) Hopscotch Math [online] available: http://classicalfun.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/hopscotch-math/ %5B29,September,2014%5D

Things to do with kids. (2014) Have a stuffed animal party and play music [online] available: http://thingstodowithkids.com/ [29,September,2014]

Zen Seeker. (2013) Road rugs and carpets [online] available: http://zenseeker.net/Kid/PlaySurfaces-RoadRugs.htm %5B29,September,2014%5D

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brain storming session 1

Brain map 1

 

To begin brain storming ideas for this group project I created a mind map and linked all the words and phrases I associated, or thought about, when I though of the “play” theme.

At first the only thought that came to mind was to play music, rather then to play games or with toys. Although these ideas did eventually come to mind. For my first individual brain storming session I came up with a few different words and a couple of ideas, these are;

Ideas

Music-  playing music as an action, or playing to create a visual and audio reaction.

Deaf chamber-  no sound, visual reaction to playing. This idea is similar to another artifact I saw on channel4’s ‘Amazing spaces: Shed of the Year”. In which a singer and an individual user are alone, in a black out box, it is designed like this so sound can be manipulated and intensified to evoke reactions from the user. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLiDR2nMZ7E )

Why did we stop playing, when did we stop, when (if at all) do we play?

Playing for stimulation- action of playing as a stimulant… disabled children or learning impaired individuals.

Words

Toys, fun, games, childhood, joy-happiness, bright images,

Reader Sheds.(2014).http://www.readersheds.co.uk/share.cfm?SHARESHED=4835 [accessed 16 September, 2014]

Youtube.(2014)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLiDR2nMZ7E [accessed 16 September, 2014]

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