Mother and Son (Waves)
Prototype of the copper sculpture.
Final Project for a Computational Craft course led by Liza Stark at MFA Design & Technology's Parsons School of Design. Her course combines craft techniques like crochet or paper folding with alternative and traditional materials to make computational objects. These practices are part of a movement called soft circuits, which are usually materials combined with open source programming languages to create unexpected and 'magical' interactions.
This project, Mother and Son, is a sculpture built with copper sheets that are cut into slices and bent to form two waves. A smaller wave is protected by a larger one. These waves are used to complete an electric circuit that is connected to a series of speakers. These speakers were created using materials like paper, conductive thread, magnets and conductive thread. The sculpture was programmed with white noise and plugged into a power source.
Series of images displaying a sketch of the project and a series of small prototypes for the speakers.
This project is meant to give mothers and newborns calmness through sound.
The sculpture provides calming sounds that resemble natural binaries.
It is very much inspired by white noise machines, but those do not show the important significance of how beautiful sound and binary waves work together in nature.
More inspiration for the project came from Timo Arnall's Immaterials project making WiFi visible to show the different intensities and ranges in urban spaces.
And lastly, the Waves were inspired by the Chicama Waves in Northern Peru, with each wave having a total distance of 2.5 miles.
Through Liza's teaching and project direction I was able to create a variety of small prototypes exploring mainly one practice. I explored sound through knitting and folding. Most of the materials I used, were relatively known and available at very little expense, such as paper, tape, conductive thread, etc.
After making sure I was able to use sound as part of my exploration, I decided to come up with a concept that allowed me to create an experience that could help soothe children and connect them to a natural binary source, such as waves. Although I made conscious decisions behind the materials I used, those were sustained by a variety of trials, samples and prototypes.
See below for images displaying the process of this project.
Closeup of the copper sculpture.
Closeup of one of the sheets that were cut to make the small wave.
Sound testing with paper speakers.
Process of glueing and slicing copper sheets.
Soldered conductive tape on circuit, magnets, paper speakers.