4D II | Evocative Object Final

Group members: Rochele, Xuan Fei, Kou Ying

Project Title: Trash Talk

Location: ADM Level One 

Project Two has come to an end. I would like to say this was definitely one of the most interesting projects I get to do in ADM. And the fact that it was a group work! SO FUN!

As mentioned in my previous post, my group worked with trashcans and recycle bins that can be easily found around ADM. TRASH TALK is our title! (thanks XF for the awesome name!) So are we talking about trash here? Or the trash talking about us?

The objective of this sound installation is to make people aware of the waste they are producing on a daily basis. For example, sneezing sounds can be heard if a recyclable waste is being thrown into a normal bin. People may associate this sound with sickness, hence it suggests a “negative” action which something is wrong and how they can do better next time (think twice before you throw). The sounds that we selected are rather comedic so that overall it is an engaging experience instead of putting people off.

During the presentation, Michael as well as our classmates had given us some feedbacks; things that we can further improve upon and also whether this installation has the potential to grow. Due to the fact that most of our sound effects are comedic, we were left with a question asking us where we could put this work into good use. The response was kindergarten because it is believed that little kids will be more interested in this “cartoon theme” sound installation compared to adults. In order to push this project further, one of our classmates suggest that we could incorporate relaxing nature sounds for the recycling bins to symbolise a small act such as recycling, can help to save Mother Earth. Cool. There was one who suggest using the sound of an object disintegrating/evaporating when a rubbish is placed in the correct bin! It must be satisfying to hear that.

The main challenge that we faced in this Project is to make a connection between sound and its meaning. How do we provide a better, meaningful user experience instead of pure interactive? From misinterpreting the project concept to finally having a clue of what we are supposed to do, it was a great experience with both XF and KY! I love how our group was quick and effective when it comes to ideas and execution. Overall, we have definitely gained a better understanding of sound art installation through this project.

Not to forget, I get to explore the technical part of implementing a sensor network system into the bins!!! (Who knows there is a microcomputer called Raspberry Pi?? HAHA) I guess I have been through an express module in Electrical Engineering, thanks to 4D!

Role: Research, Sound editing, Mockup system designer









4D II | Evocative Object Process

Group members: Rochele, Xuan Fei, Kou Ying

We had our ideas presentation the other day which three of us get to propose three different ideas. My initial idea of playing with mirrors/reflective glass was not good enough. People may not be able to relate to the stories of other people and the purpose of this project is to involve the viewers into the world of the object, by using sound.

We decided to scrape our ideas altogether and went to explore around. After a good ol’ 30 minutes, we settled on the idea of “talking bins”. 

We thought of using sound effects such as scream, shout, cries to express how a trash feels when it is being thrown into the bin. This helps to raise environmental awareness. For instance, people will be more aware of how they handle waste or even cut down on the amount of waste they throw away. Michael told us that we should make the sound message clearer in order to communicate our main message to the public. Therefore, we plan to incorporate messages like “Thank you”, “Well done” for people who disposed the trash into the right bins, while messages like “Oh No!”, “What are you doing???” for every wrong trash being placed into the bin, together with the sound effects.

The final idea for this project is to use proximity sensors to detect objects that are being thrown into the bins. In order to do this, the bins will be remodelled. For instance, the opening of the bin will have a slope so that the rubbish will fall towards a certain direction and hit on the metal plate in the bin. The metal plate is made of alloy materials, with spring coils underneath for the convenience of heavier objects. The rubbish will slide across the plate so that it can be detected by the sensors on the opposite side.

Illustration of the remodelled bin

A brief description of the technical part:

The components involved are Raspberry PI, Arduino Uno, Inductive Proximity Sensor (IPS) and Capacitive Proximity Sensor (CPS). By interfacing Raspberry PI with Arduino Uno, analog values from the sensors can be read. There is a range of value given to each type of object –


PAPER (VALUE RANGES FROM IPS;80-100, CPS;100-120) IPS = 90 CPS = 110
PLASTIC (VALUE RANGES FROM IPS;0-50, CPS;150-200) IPS = 10 CPS = 200
Simple illustration of the circuit

Each type of object has its own pin (D1,D2,D3, etc) on Arduino Uno so that signals will be transmitted to Raspberry PI from each respective pin. When high signal is detected, specific audio file will be played.


^ when a can is being thrown into the correct recycle bin

^when a can is being thrown into the normal bin