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Sound Step

This was a semester long project which prompted students to design thinking through movement. To think about how the body moves and how systems/products that exist today make bodies move and behave in a certain way.


How does a body and an object/furniture/place/space interact? Our final design had to incorporate an element of movement driven by the body. I focused on interventions in public urban spaces and playfulness.

Sound Step is a proposal for a sidewalk-playground intervention that would disrupt people's daily routine by creating awareness of how the body moves through the act of walking.

Sidewalks were the chosen space due to its easy access to the public. By being a transportation path, people would be able to engage with it without having to set aside a time in their days to do so. The idea with this intervention was to disrupt the everyday life and the repetitive motions we do without consciousness (in this case focusing on our feet and our walking), which in turn makes us less agile and active.

final design
playground study
piezo speakers
experiment recording set up
stop motion set up
movement with other things
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alone movement
The intervention was going to focus on change in elevation, texture and sound of materials to create the awareness between person and their body movement. Dome shaped slopes of different sizes and materials were the chosen feature for the intervention.

By being a concept proposal, The final deliverable comprised of individual moving parts that supported each other in representing what this sidewalk-playground intervention was envisioned to be.

- Stop motion illustrating how someone could interact with the intervention.
- Real life experiment of how people interact with the domes.
- Material and sound samples of what the domes would be made out of.

Sound Step was designed with playgrounds and playfulness in mind to encourage movement rather than to enforce it. Because of how public sidewalks are, accessibility for different types of bodies was also considered. The intervention has no designated “start” and “finish”, and it can be interacted with through either side.
The final design would be consisted of:

- A playground rubber flooring which is a bit bouncy and people can distinguish its difference from the concrete flooring of sidewalks right away.

- Domes in 6 different sizes and build with 7 different materials. Every time a person touches a dome it makes a loud noise - the noise varies depending on which material the person is interacting with and how they are interacting with it.

- Colourful paths marked on the floor which are meant for people to follow or play with however they desire; creating a different possibility of interaction other than the domes.

- A small wall on one of the sides of the sidewalk in which people can walk and balance on.
Project date: January - April 2021

For: Design for Movement project ; Industrial Design Core Studio  - Emily Carr University of Art + Design
If you wish to know more about the project, you can view a PDF of a detailed process book here.
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