Tuned Stairs

description:

Tuned Stairs is the introductory installation for the Fabrica exhibition at Center Pompidou on 6 October - 13 November 2006. As visitors walk down the stairs leading to the exhibition, their footsteps activate a musical sound. The installation refocuses the attention of the visitor onto their footfalls - allowing them the opportunity to compose their timing, movement, and the resulting melody.
This project is a collaboration with Hansi, Federico, Carlo and Andy

system:

On each of the stairs is a matt-switch which activates the instrument-playing mechanism attached on the outside of the banister. The armature is made of steel with a pull-thust solenoid attached to it. Above the solenoid is a tuned resonating bar facing down. As the matt-switch is activated, the solenoid order viagra momentarily strikes the resonating bar - resulting in a soft delicate sound resonating through the local area. The matt-switch's signal gets fed into an arduino board which then activates the solenoid mechanism through a transistor circuit. Each arduino has its own conduit board built to easily connect the switches to their corresponding solenoid mechanisms.

click movie below to play



or click here to view the Quicktime version



Tuned Stairs in Center Pompidou.



As people step on the red section of each stair, a solenoid hammer hits the resonating bar attached to the banister next to it



Public Opening



Lower portion of the stairs (15 stairs, 3 sets of tones, 3 arduino controllers)



Upper portion of the stairs (14 stairs, 3 sets of tones, 3 arduino controllers)



One set of instruments attached to the banister, with their corresponding controller



An Arduino with a hand soldered breakout board mounted above it



A resonating bar with the solenoid hammer mechanism



The back of the instrument chassis


process:

click movie below to play






click movie below to play




Other movies - shot from a Celphone:

14_Tuned_Stairs_1.3gp
14_Tuned_Stairs_2ppl.3gp
21_Tuned_Stairs_1.3gp


First Prototype testing a hammer mechanism with a pull-type solenoid



First Prototype using multicolored cowbell and solenoid to hammer mechanism



Third Prototype using a black cowbell and our prefered armature/solenoid combination



Third Prototype using a the resonating bars we found to offer the most magical quality of sound.


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mentioned in these fine online news / review sites: International Herald Tribune; print magazine