Plattenspieler Design Blog

2. Design Evaluation



The purpose of Walkman is for the user to explore the music produced by the record by walking. The pun attitude behind the idea is highlighted by the title. 

Walkman will take some hard work to be completed, as it is a large installation in weight, height, width and girth. Measuring taller and longer than the average human ensures that interaction with the installation will call for interaction from the users. Interaction is also encouraged by the steam punk theme, as it will elude to users that the installation is sturdy and will take their weight; after all, the goal is to get them walking.

My personal goals, as outlined in our first assessment piece, are creating experiences with artistic value, such as installation art. This project answers my goals needs, as it involves an interesting interactive space in which an experience is created. This experience, that being the exploration of a record is made an experience unlike any other as it involves interaction unlike any other. Walking on a human sized hamster wheel, powering a gramophone with your steps, adjusting the pitch and tone with every stride.



Walkman explores the concepts of new immersive environments.

The design has developed from an enormous audio cassette to a more original design.  Initially participants could walk on the inner tape reels of the cassette, faster or slower to affect the speed and volume of music, and with or against each other (see original concept sketch overleaf).  The music would have been a response to digital input processed through Flash.  

Anthony proposed that we make it work mechanically, ie when a person walks the wheel moves, and the wheel is connected to an arm which in turn moves an actual cassette reel, thus playing a tape.  After some discussion and research, we realised that it would be more feasible to use a record player rather than a cassette.  This did not alter the concept as both cassettes and records are played by rotation, albeit of different parts.  

I found Anthony’s initial sketches much more visually intriguing my cassette design and so it was that Walkman evolved into an ambiguous conglomeration of treadwheel, wheels and gears, and gramophone, which lends to a steampunk aesthetic.

We share an interest in contemporary visual art, particularly installation, and practical craft.  So while I will be honing my documentation and liaison skills, my primary focus is to source materials, learn metalwork and ground our project in contemporary art and design practice.


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