Interaction - Bachelors
SoundTable (Designed by Keegan Foster) is an interactive audio based physical installation in the shape of a thin hallway table - designed to be a playful and expressive way for the user to create and distort pieces of audio. The idea is to create an interactive installation of an object that is seemingly ordinary, but has playful elements as the user interacts. As the user places their hands over the surface, the space where their hands move is linked to a different audio loop and instrument, and as the user moves, the sound dynamically adapts, combining and recombining in a playful and explorative way. My project promotes curiosity, exploration, and reflection, & de-emphasises the pursuit of external goals.
My skillset has broadened significantly over the past few years, and I have experience in a variety of fields.
My previous experience includes branding, web design, UX/UI, game design, and audio. Taking all of this information and concentrating it into one area of interest has been quite a challenge for me.
As part of my research, I have explored both digital and physical environments – and sometimes a combination of both. It is that intersectionality between real world interactions and digital expression that I explore in this project.
SoundTable is built primarily through routing USB webcams through a wooden frame to a laptop. The laptop runs Ableton – a music production and live performance software, and is supported by the technologies Max/MSP/Jitter, a visual programming language, and a custom built M4L patch that runs natively in Ableton.
To test the effectiveness and reliability of the synthesisers connected to the SoundTable. This means assessing if the effects triggered by physical interaction are expressive for the user, and if they provide a distinct and instant reaction to a user’s action.
To reveal confusions with interactive methods. Eg. Where to place hands, how to move, interaction through tapping or holding.
To identify bugs and issues with SoundTable’s software and electronic components.
To assess if the synthesisers themselves inherently produce sounds and notes that are pleasant to the user’s ear.
My user testing sessions were conducted under the following requirements.
– User interacts with the installation with only basic instruction: eg. place headphones on and touch the surface of the table.
– Half (3/6) of the user testing sample had no prior knowledge of the technology or design intentions behind the project.
**NOTE:** During the session testing, 3/4 instrument “Squares” were functioning. This is due to hardware limitations.
Users participated in a post-interaction interview with the following questions:
– How did you find the ease of use of the SoundTable?
– Did you find that your interactions with SoundTable had a distinct and recognizable output?
– Was anything unclear to you during the testing session?
– Was the audio pleasant to listen to?
– Do you have any other feedback?
A graduate of Interaction Design, Keegan has a keen interest and background in Audio and Product Design. Keegan currently works as a digital designer in the market research industry, and has experience creating digital solutions to quantifiable problems.