MEDA202 – Assessment 2 – Prototype Critical Reflection

The presentation of the prototype of my work ‘SHIA’, turned out to be quite enlightening. It allowed us all to see how people reacted to both our own work, and our peers work.

Music connects all humans. Even as time has progressed and humanity has evolved – music is one thing that has always remained present. From social music festivals to sacred cultural ceremonies, some form of music is always used to represent or communicate an idea. My idea surrounding ‘Devices of Wonder’ formed from the observation how the exact same song playing in a car of four people, can mean something completely different and retrieve different memories for all four. I created an anonymous playlist of songs that have ranged in release dates and have stayed known since their release in the aim to reach a wider range of people and memories.

The design concept was fairly simple, but what few elements did assemble the prototype all had a significant role. Firstly, I painted a cardboard box blue. The cardboard box was to hide the wireless speaker that played the music so the audience would have to investigate further what the prototype entailed. I painted it blue in regards that blue is known to be a peaceful colour, that’s easy on the eyes. I wanted the audience to feel relaxed during the presentation. Next, I wrapped a string of battery operated fairy lights to the box, this is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also attracts attention to the work from all distances. I made a quick spreadsheet for people to record their answers of the first thing that came to mind when they heard each of the seven songs on the playlist, as well as a set of instructions that explained how the project worked.

A strong influence in this project was the use of the Makey Makey boards in the early tutorials. There were unlimited possibilities with what you could do, yet almost every group in the class made a graphite piano. Music is such a familiar concept to my generation, the second most popular was something to do with gaming. Most people want to be able to play an instrument, whether they are able to or not, this led to the development of my project ‘SHIA’.

The feedback I received after the presentation wasn’t too intense, but was still helpful. People loved the idea and were excited to hear what was playing from the mysterious box. It was so amusing to watch the different facial expressions that came upon each person’s face as they heard the next song play. Some were made of pure joy, some of confusion. Overall it was advised that I figure out how to make the work easier to interact with, which is something I already had in mine. A lot of people also just enjoyed watching the lights, even if they had or hadn’t participated in the work.

Before the final assessment, there are still some adjustments to be made. An adjustment needs to be made to allow the audience to hear the music in a solitary manner to make the experience more surprising for each viewer. A reconstruction of the outer box would be beneficial to allow the audience to interact more freely without worrying which buttons to press to play the music or skip to the next song. The method of which the audience records their emotions or thoughts is also to be redesigned to make it easier to understand.

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