Musical Chair

The intention of this this project is to solve undefined problems by applying theory and the use of craftmanship. Focusing on human interaction and culture, the goal is to design an interactive object or space.

Reference image: metaForm Blog

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Project brief

The project is separated into two phases: the first phase focuses on developing themes while reflecting John Maeda's design principal of thoughtful reduction - based off his book The Law of Simplicity. The following phase is to create a solution/prototype for the selected theme.

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The process begins with researching and understanding John Maeda's design principles and create information models that represent these fundamentals visually.

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Implementing a secondary topic, in this case subcultures and combined the two together to explore. By synthesizing these two ideas we came across a project called Drum Suit by Andy Cameron - a wearable suit that produces music by tapping on to different parts of the body. Using Andy Cameron as a precedent, we integrated his design process and put it into our own practice.

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Simplifying musical instruments, while creating a playful experience among a group of users. By encouraging interaction towards an audience of music enthusiasts, our goal was to stimulate a social environment, which incorporates John Maeda's process of shrink, hide, and embody.

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Each chair has a particular type of musical instrument built through Arduino and sensors. Once a user sits down the musical instrument starts to play. As the user decides to mingle with others, all the musical instrument syncs up to create a small band based on their choice of jazz, indie, electro, latin, rock, folk, and miscellaneous genres. This interaction between users can help create an environment that best suits their mood and the atmosphere they want to be in.


Russell Taylor, Professor

Project role

IxD and Developer


Interaction Design