HAVE A SEAT
INTERACTIVE MUSIC INSTALLATION & GAME
The Music Center of Los Angeles County
Musical chairs of a different sort, with buttons, sounds, and lights.
Sit down and make some music!
In collaboration with tech designer and interactive artist Kevin Jordan. This is the second time we worked together as part of a creative think tank hosted by the fine folks at the Music Center—"What if we took a universally known game but modernized and changed the way it's played? Something like musical chairs." When you're in a room with a bunch of curios people questions like this make the room bubble with energy and ideas. We wanted to create an experience that was simultaneously familiar and new, so we decided to take the idea of a musical chair literally and talked about creating a chair-instrument that played sounds and lights and also invited exploration and collaboration. Kevin and I do not have overlapping expertise so we really needed each other to bring this idea to fruition: design, construction and content. After a few weeks of emails, Skype sessions, and phone calls, we answered the Music Center's "what if?" with HAVE A SEAT.
Each seat has a unique set of notes/sounds. Seats are designed to work in pairs. The design includes two pinball-type buttons mounted for your hands, one on each side, and foot pedals attached on the floor. Sounds are played through a speaker behind each player. Each seat also activates lights that are displayed on the columns of the building (outside), or on the interior walls.
Sounds are activated in the following ways:
1) Sit Down/Hello
2) Left Foot
3) Right Foot
4) Left Hand
5) Right Hand
When played at the same time:
6) Both Feet
7) Both Hands
8) Hands and Feet
Kevin used IKEA stools for the basis of his design. He fabricated the connection mounts from a 3D printer, wired the whole thing up, and created mini on-board computers to run the sounds and lights. Each seat also has hand bells mounted inside (matching a unique set of notes for each) providing a local sound source for each player.