Evaluation of Ambient Sound Installation

The design brief asked…

Create a piece of interactive information design for a shared public space, which is intended to elucidate/explain some an idea or concept you perceive as key to our 21st century media experience.

The goal of the installation is to present the idea of ambience of an environment and the change in it. The final installation is a combination of theories involving colour, sound, ambience, audiences and design principles. The idea of ambience was presented using a processing sketch that took in sound using a microphone and presented back to an audience on a display. The area for the installation and hardware available had major effects upon the final outcome as it dictated some design factors. These were resolved to produce an information graphic which used peoples presence with in the environment as a form of interaction.

The final piece transformed several times throughout its design iterations.

  • Initially mainly focused on presenting music back to an audience using visual screen design.
  • The introduction of audience interaction using reactivision and Minim created an activity for of participation around feelings and audience participation but, didn’t present a media concept specifically.
  • Lastly ambience and theory of passive participation allowed an audience to participate. As knowing or unknowingly were actively participating in media constantly.

In the foyer from testing the concept works well to show the change is activity within the area. Secondly adds some nice atmospheric sounds to the area describing the current environment sound level in comparison to another place using the form of sound. I think it could work well as a tool for classrooms to control sound levels or as a scale of sound measurement within busy areas

Some aspects of the final installation that didn’t work like was not being able to use the large screen high up. This created a problem in terms of the audience as it was meant to only be seen by an active audience who were looking up towards the screen. The screen used in testing is in direct line of view meaning even passive audience would see it possibly defeating the object of on of the concepts.

As an infografic it works well to describe the changing environment as it becomes busy or quite with a design that doesn’t require to must processing by an audience who are passing by. The design integrated well with the architecture of the environment well as its bright colour worked well with that of the foyer.

To improve there could be more consideration given to the scale measurements, as it might need so adjustment and a slightly more precise system of calculation to give a more better reading. As an installation its could be improved to have more user interaction this could come from use of the camera in some aspect. The motion detection attempted to do this however, it was hard for the audience to understand and a more fun and inventive way of interacting with the ambience of movement was needed.

Next time I would have liked to put it in a few different places to see what kinds of reactions of audiences are. An example of this could be an event background to encourage in opposition to this a louder and more noise within an ambient environment.

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