Rapid prototyping for music, art and design work

11.1.2016 presentation: Moody Thermometer by Alex, Marloes & Mathijs

Screen shot 2016-01-07 at 15.37.11


  • people use thermometers before they go outside, to check how much clothing they should wear
  • use of thermometers increases with extreme (hot and cold) temperatures
  • when extreme weather / temperatures occur, many people seem to feel the urge to post images of thermometers online

Behaviour changes:

  • takes away for the need to walk to the thermometer and look at the thermometer consciously, it allows you to perceive the temperature everywhere in the room without a conscious readout
  • The use of rhythm and / or music has the potential to change people’s moods


  • gives an abstract impression of the temperature, instead of an exact number, the feeling can be directly translated to the feeling outside.
  • music / rhythm is playful.
  • attention seeking thermometer

Description of the idea:

thermometer / knocking / alarm clock
The thermometer has a helpless moody personality, he needs attention all the time.
He keeps knocking until you take him inside, this way you feel the real feeling of the outside air, the wind, the humidity, … as the thermometer only tells temperature. You can feel the thermometers feelings this way.

For the slides of the presentation:

Pulsar Kites

Pulsar kite video

It is fun to play with kites in Helsinki since there is a good wind current during most part of the year. For this course it was considered to add a value for kites with electronic features, in other words, to produce a sonification of kite movement. Thus the kite works as an interface to generate data to produce sound on real time, an instrument for musical or sound art performance which is controlled manually and modified randomly by wind conditions.

The interface has a wireless system that measure the speed and rotation of the kite, thus this data is transformed into sound on real time. Sound modules are designed upon on the principles of composition with pulsars, developed by Curtis Roads, and the micro sound studies of Alberto de Campo. For future development is considered to include a dynamic led light system and increase the number of simultaneous kites. Here is some pictures of the process of creation of the kite, and electronic devices used for the project.


You can view more test videos and documentation of Pulsar kites here:

Finally this project was presented in Voda Helsinki a visual arts, literature and music event  in Kalasataman Aukio, on sunday 19th august 2012.

Making PCB with Roland Modela MDX-20 (Fritzing version)

This post describes how to create PCB with Roland Modela MDX-20 mill machine using Fritzing open souce software. The instruction using Eagle is described in another post.

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Assignment 3

Two simple interactions using a potentiometer and  a pressure sensor. The sound on the video is not good, but hopefully you get the point.

The third video is the first prototype of flexinol and knit. Made with pd, arduino and much help from Matti Niinimäki.

Pingispöytä a.k.a. PingPongTable

This is a project update for last years Designing interactions course, this could also be seen as the final report for the project for the course, even if the project in itself is still a work in progress. This project is called “Pingispöytä” and it is made by Pasi Rauhala and Niklas Kullström from the Photography department.

So What is “Pingispöytä”? The concept started from the idea of making a electronically controlled “mechanical” ball bouncer. Several different approaches arose in the beginning, with different alternatives for propulsion and ball types. In the end we decided to use solenoids and ping pong balls for the project. The idea being that a solenoid would bounce up a ping pong ball into the air at a specific defined time.

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Final demos from Designing Interaction 2010 Fall at Media lab Helsinki

Swing Thing created by Forrest Oliphant and Matti Niinimäki. The sound and images match when the two swings in sync.

Shadow created by Emmanuel Durand, Ranjit Menon and Daniel Praesius. Sound is controlled by shadow.

Historical Orchestra created by Reha Discioglu, Piibe Piirma and Ferhat Sen. Three instruments inspired by Turkish cultural heritage using digital technology.

Multitouch Table – aniMate created by Palash Mukhopadhyay, Irene Poutanen and Dipti Sonawane. Drawings get own life and move on the table.

Ferrocity created by Ben Dromey and David Munoz.

Historical Orchestra (Oud Production)

Fretboard is based on linear potentiometer. You can get exact position of where you press. Works amazingly robust. Strings are laser-phototransistor couple. As for sound output, now we are using soundfont and sensor data is randomly mapped to soundfont notes. Thus, mapping is again not clear 🙂 Photos and video available.

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Sensor Orchestra

Here is the demo of our prototype.

Just to show the idea and progress.

Step Switcher

Here is our little control object

the mighty mat 🙂

Interactive Laser

Basic test of one of our instruments in Historical Orchestra project.

Click on the photo to see the video. Sorry for an extra window but embedded vimeo videos are cropped by this wp theme.

Designing Interactions with emotion

Forrest Assignment 1

Flash visualizes N900 accelerometer data, floats target on gradient, sends color values to fade three Arduino LEDs. Source.


Palash Assignment 1 (2010)

A change in image triggered by the N900’s Ambient Light Sensor. Light causes night, absence of it is daylight!

Photo-resistor based light reactive snowflakes layered over the cityscape (didn’t work)

Dipti Assignment 1

A photo-resistor controls the size of the flowers (more the light larger the size and less the light smaller the size of the flower) through Arduino over Bluetooth.

The entire thing works together (the leaves reacting to the accelerometer and flowers reacting to the light), but the is lagging too much for the flowers to respond smoothly.

The leaves fall and return back on the tree using the accelerometer sensor in the N900.

Daniel’s assignment 1

When the hand approaches the arduino, the drawn circles on the n900 change in size – the closer it gets, the smaller the circles.

Matti’s Assignment #1 – n900 Accelerometer to Servo

A simple test to control a continuous rotation servo motor with the accelerometer of the Nokia N900.


Screen shot 2010-09-30 at 23.44.46

Download source code

Reha Assignment 1: Unidentified Moving Rectangle

According to room’s light conditions rectangle moves left or right. If the room is bright rectangle moves to the right if the room is dark rectangle moves to the left.

Built with Arduino and Flash. Controlled with Nokia N900 according to data coming from light sensor. Analog data is sent to N900 via BlueSMiRF Gold Bluetooth module.

Ferhat Assignment 1: The CircleSizer

Arduino – Flash – N900 talking via bluetooth

Each time user presses enter in N900, Flash creates a circle of size according to the proximity sensor data.

When you get closer to the proximity sensor, the circle gets smaller. When moved far away the circle gets larger.

Dipti’s Assignment – 2

Dipti Assignment – 2

Hi all,

Here is the pdf for assignment 2


Palash Assignment 2

Here’s the pdf of the slideshow.

Palash Assignment 2

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