Sound Wave

The Back-Up Plan

With the use of rectangular blocks to represent the buildings of NTU,  we were thinking of uniformity or contrast for the form of our piece.


Uniformity: The boundary of NTU will be angular, complementing the shape of the buildings.


Contrast: The boundary of NTU will remain as it was: curvy. But we were thinking of simplifying the contour.


With these forms, we decided to go with the contrasting elements.


The concept remains the same — the random movements of the spherical balls, the rectangular buildings, the contoured boundary. The only difference is how we would like to portray our idea through physical interaction alone.


We wanted the randomized movements to work by moving through frequency change by playing of songs from the user’s playlist. (plugged in using audio jack)


For example:

We visualised the installation to be suspended in the air. The buildings would be placed on the underside of the piece. The buildings and the boundary of the installation will be the areas for the sounds to be created.


Through the use of sound waves and frequency to create randomise movement.


We tested with heartbeat as the  map of NTU vaguely loks like a heart. Through frequencies and also through songs which we thought of allowing students to plug in their own songs. In the end, we chose to allow the audience to create the own sounds and music they want with the instrumental elements of our installation.

How it works:

When a sound is being made by the user, the soundwave causes vibration which results in a randomise movement of the balls as differents sounds are constantly being made. This randomise movement reflects our main concept on how the students’ social interaction in school is like.



  • Metal for the buildings ( possibly a few different types of metals)
  • Balls (TBC but high chance for it to be lightweight)
  • Plastic bottles/ plastic


As you can tell, different types of metals with different properties, densities and thickness creates different sounds. We plan to use and array of metals with different thickness in our installation.

The materials used can be recycled materials which are cheaper and lighter as well

We decided to allow the viewers to create the the sounds on their own. We would provide the “instruments”/ elements to allow different sounds to be created.

Elements/” instruments”: 

  • Pendulum
  • Drum ( create vibration)
  • Metal panels for the boundary ( different types of metals)
  • Wind chime
  • Cymbal ( tbc)
  • Synthesizers
  • Cans (Thrash can, aluminum can)
  • Batucada inspired (eg: basin, etc)
  • Bell
  • Xylophone

One thought on “Sound Wave

  1. the design is still very approximate, you should work more on it (as I asked you earlier), better define the general appearance, hanging from above or supported from floor (by what?), materials (glass, metal, wood, ???), make 2d 3d drawings…

    are you sure the sound wave is easier than the magnetism?

    sound wave also have a lot of physical/technical constrains that might not match with the complex map shape



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