City of Voids – Final Mood box process


Sound A

For our final mood box, we decided to go with sound A. The quality of the sound is organic and meditative, inspiring our theme of serenity for our final mood box.


While listening to our sound, the sound of the wooden sticks reminded me of a bamboo water feature, especially those found in traditional Japanese gardens. Known as shishi-odoshi (“deer-scarer”), the bamboo mechanism uses the weight of falling water to create a “tak” sound to scare animals away.


The sound of the falling beads of the rain stick resembles the sound of shifting pebbles as people walk upon them. Thus, we adapted two features of the Japanese garden, the water bamboo feature and the rock gravel ground.


To represent the components of our sound visually:
Wood sticks – water bamboo mechanism
Falling beads of rain stick – water/ rain or sound of rocks
Triangle – sphere or spiral

Various ideas:


Proposed Idea 1:

A possible idea I proposed – creating a twisted plane of acrylic sticks to resemble the water sound of the rain stick
How the water bamboo mechanism will be incorporated
Top view

Taking the twisted plane of wool felt from my mood box, a possible idea was to create a twisted plane of clear acrylic sticks for the sub-ordinate.  We decided against this as we wanted the sub-ordinate to be more subtle to highlight the dominant structure.

Idea 2: Assemblage of materials to form voids
I found some references for inspiration on representing the water or rock interpretation of the sound of the rain stick.

Hanging rocks installation by Jaehyo Lee

Chair made out of acrylic sticks by Junpei Tamaki
> Using acrylic sticks vertically to create form of water and voids

We voted against this idea as it was too messy as we wanted to keep it minimal.


Materials and colours – We wanted to use a organic colour scheme for our final mood box, thus deciding on using white and mainly wood. Black was added as a contrast.

Frame – We decided to adapt the the use of wooden frame from Nicholas’ mood box as we are suspending our elements to suggest how sound occupies an empty vacuum.

Dominant – A pathway of three wooden carriages to represent the three beats of the wooden sticks
Sub-dominant – A twisted plane of white beads surrounding the dominant feature
Sub-ordinate – An upward spiral

Auditory and experiential component – Falling marble
We designed the dominant and sub-ordinate feature to interact with a falling marble to recreate our sound (tak-tak-tak-ding).


Initially, we were going to hang our elements with a cross made up of two wooden sticks but it did not give us much space to hang our elements. We decided to use a wire mesh to hang our elements, so I came up with a design of sandwiching the edges of the wire mesh with two wood sticks to hold the mesh. Glue gun was used to fill the space between the wooden sticks.

Initial design for the frame;         Securing the wire mesh

Zhen Yu cutting wood for the frame – Wood cutting expert!
Nicholas drilled holes through the wood

 Constructing the wooden frame for wire mesh
Fixing the cylindrical wood sticks into the drilled holes 

We decided on a diagonally linear pathway of wooden carriages, made by Zhen Yu and Nicholas, for the marble to fall upon. Initially, we wanted to hang the wooden carriages individually, but the pivotal swinging made it hard for the marble to fall on it. Thus, Nicholas made a wire structure to hold the wooden parts together.

Nicholas testing the trajectory with prototypes; Zhen Yu constructing a wooden carriage

Nicholas and his wire mechanism; testing the space within the frame


We decided on using white cloth beads and white wires to create a twisted plane that represented the sound of falling beads and should not take the focus off the dominant component. I beaded and constructed a spiral to be intertwined around the dominant feature.

Stringing the beads; Twisting the wire to create a spiral


For the sub-ordinate, we wanted to create a flat surface made out of metallic tubes but the sound created was too insignificant. Thus, Zhen Yu and I decided to made a upward spiral of hard wire to create a louder sound and catch the marble at the same time. The spiral was spray-painted black to contrast with the lighter colours of our mood box.

Initial sub-ordinate; Prototype design to catch marble


We suspended the elements using nylon string from the wire mesh frame.





Our final mood box represents our organic sound through visual and auditory means, where the key component of our sound is recreated with the dropping of the marble. The colours, materials and minimal design used suit the overall calmness and serenity of falling water we tried to convey.

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