Drumming for the better co-experience

Cars are rarely thought of as social spaces, although most of them have two or more seats.  Typically, interior and interaction design focuses on the driver, the task of driving, comfort functions and the ubiquitous entertainment system. Today, especially children bring their mobile devices into the car and listen to music while on the backseat. This form of  cocooning makes social interaction and resulting feelings of relatedness even less likely.

In their semester abroad at the Helsinki University of Art and Design, Kai Eckoldt and Benjamin Schulz (supervised by Ilpo Koskinen) set out to create social experiences in a car. In one of their projects, they hacked a little drum computer, put the touch sensors at various places, such as floor mats, the steering wheel, seats, and hooked up the sound chip to the car’s stereo. Have a look at the video, and watch what can happen:

And some pictures from the workshop and the set-up:

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For a full discussion of the project refer to

Eckoldt, K. & Schulz, B. N. N. (2009). Das Auto als Musikinstrument: gemeinsames Trommeln als positve Erfahrung. i-com.Zeitschrift für interaktive und kooperative Medien, 1, 83-85. (in German)

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