Focus On: The sound of music

United Visual Artists, Pieter-Jan Pieters, Masashi Kawamura and Nicholas Hlobo explore the power of music in design.

United Visual Artists on designing for emotional response

United Visual Artists (UVA) are interested in how technology can adapt to basic human interaction, while also evoking emotion in all people.Here they talk about different projects they have undertaken since 2003 and how these seek to connect technology with human interaction. UVA’s creative portfolio includes designing stage sets for UK super group Massive Attack, a beat-driven text generator and projects composed of LED screens, and speakers that react when people get close.

Pieter-Jan Pieters on using human movement to compose music -trailer

Pieter-Jan Pieters is the founder of OWOW (theomnipresentworldofwizkids), a platform for innovation, design, technology, engineering and fun. His Sound on Intuition (SOI) project looks at digitalising instruments and questions why people should learn to compose music by reading notes instead of simply using technology and computers, which is how most of today’s songs are created. It consists of five instruments that translate people’s movements into sound. An arm-waving motion becomes a wavy sound; a person reaching up, a high note; the tapping of a foot or finger, a rhythm; its tempo, a heart beat.

Masashi Kawamura on doing things differently with technology 

Masashi Kawamura is interested in combining storytelling and technology. In his speaker talk at Design Indaba Conference 2013 he spoke about designing new ways to design and how technology can make this possible. From interactive TV shows to music videos, product design, 3D printing, an iPhone app and event a bike that runs on human poop, Kawamura’s creative endeavours straddle many disciplines.

Nicholas Hlobo on understanding his own culture

Nicholas Hlobo explores, through sound and images, the construction of his own sense of understanding about the self, one’s country, family, culture and more. In an evocative performance comprising music performed by himself and two others, and video images on the screen behind him, Hlobo takes the audience on a remarkable journey.