concept, research, industrial design, media art, design for therapy and learning, play design, multisensory design, inclusive design, experience design
This polysensory instrument helps the “listener” experience music beyond hearing. The structure is covered with an elastic membrane connected to an amplifier and transducers around a wooden resonance chamber. The device can be connected to any instrument or other sound source. The input is converted into vibration which can be felt throughout the tactile surface.
Inspired by the documentary “Touch the Sound” which explores the connection among sound, rhythm, time, and the body by following percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who is nearly deaf.
After being shown at Ars Electronica, Deep Need Empathy and Design, Łowcy Dizajnu, and International Computer Music Conference 2013, the project won a grant from the president of the city Białystok. Since then it’s been used by therapists at The Association “Decybelek” in Poland in their work with children. Kids with hearing loss can play, experiment, and interact with each other by easily connecting different objects and instruments to the tactile sound system and ‘feeling into’ them. This way they are helped in developing their cognitive abilities while having tons of fun.