Totem Sonore / Sound Totem



Sound Totem is an interactive project linking several senses: sight, touch and hearing.


In general, I am interested in the immaterial (sounds, smells) and how these elements can be integrated into the design, how to materialize them, how to make visual, things that are not material or even invisible and volatile.



It consists of a wooden base and several pieces having different colours, shapes and sizes, and each piece is associated with a sound.
In the middle of the tray there is a container where the user is prompted to place, superimpose the different pieces as he/she wants, to create kinds of totems.
Thus, when placing a piece on the receptacle, the sound associated is activated, the sound stops when the piece is removed. When a second piece is added a second sound is added and so on …



-> The goal is to create and test visual and sound combinations at once, as micro-architectures that are created according to the assemblies.


Thus, according to the different selected combinations, sound are mixed and the user can finally “test” different sounds, have fun, listen, change pieces … This way, combinations can evoke different worlds to the user.


I do not want to learn the users how to compose music but rather encourage them to listen to different sounds, and perhaps succeed in making these sounds as real objects, giving the opportunity to play with the immaterial. Finally I hope it is a new way to understand and experience the sound.


Operation: pieces are put on a force sensor (a kind of scale which is the receptacle). Each piece is associated with a specific weight and sound.
The scale measures the weight of the added piece, transfers the information to the computer via an Arduino board. Then the MAX software is responsible for playing the sounds.


Here are two videos: a version with rather electronic sounds and another one with rather “experimental” sound.



claire-barrera-sound-totem-design-interactive-france claire-barrera-sound-totem-design-interactive-francetotem-sonore-ebabx-claire-combinaison-barrera-sound-totem





For this project I collaborated with different people: Pierre Cochard, Antoine Hubineau, Gyorgy Kurtag, Catherine Gilloire, Suguru Goto and Laurent Décremps.


This is a project presented as part of my DNSEP at the École d’Enseignement Supérieur d’Art de Toulouse




Sound Totem on :


Frame Magazine  01-27-17

Designboom   09-27-16

Blog Esprit Design  10-11-16

Art .China  09-30-16   Taolile   09-30-16







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