I want to gain a better insight into how music affects the social environments we encounter as a group, whether it be relaxing or partying. I also want to explore the reaction to a physical device or devices that can be used to share music within a social environment.
I decided to create a cultural probe that I could hand out to a specific group and see how they reacted to it. I started by examining what information I wanted to gain. I settled on three key areas:
- Is the experience of a social environment enhanced when everyone can contribute their own music?
- Did the use of a physical device add anything to the experience?
- How was the lack of skip button generally received?
Sticking to these three questions I started designing a rough concept. I liked the idea of a cube because of its box like qualities, almost like the music was stored inside.
Inside the box is an mp3 player. This is connected to a USB cable which protrudes from the box so it can be easily plugged into a computer or laptop. A speaker is also included inside to ensure it works under any condition but it allows the users to plug in their own speakers if desired. Lastly a button is added to the side which allows the device to be played or pause. This is the only form of control.
I cut the net shapes using a Laser Cutter and then assembled all the parts using a glue gun.
I then created a wrapper which would convey what the device was for, instructions for use and a list of questions for the participants to answer. I experimented with green and purple card
Purple card was chosen as it complimented the cardboard and was dark enough to be etched on using the Laser Cutter.