Euphonic Chairs is a concept for an interactive sound installation in a section of the Malmö Stadsbiblioteket (City Library). It creates a sonic ambience with a sense of informality and play.
User Groups: Library staff & various types of visitors to the library
Research with visitors conducted through observations, interviews and a short questionnaire survey. Library staff was interviewed about the spaces, role of the library and policy documents studied to understand the vision for library as a third space.
Some findings from interviews:
"This is not a quiet library except for in specific sections so marked."
"Some of the sections have an atmosphere that is opposite of what is intended."
"Not all sections are well utilised."
"Modern libraries are not just about books, they are more like third spaces."
"I come here to read magazines and be around people"
"It's better when there are low sounds, it takes the pressure off"
Salient finding from observation:
While the staff we interviewed said this is not a quiet library except for the spaces explicitly marked, we observed other staff members asking visitors to be quiet in spaces with no expectation of silence.
Research and sketching
A bank of 10 rotating chairs in the magazine section were chosen to create a parasitic effect for the desired ambience. The chairs produce euphonic sounds when someone sits on them and rotates around. Many people together can make a piece of music.
Using an Arduino with a gyroscope, sound samples can be mapped to the angles of rotation creating smooth flowing sounds. Each chair can be assigned a different note in a scale. Different instruments can be used in samples for variations.
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