In the air tonight

Workshop of Sound and Form

Experience Prototyping

Umeå Institute of Design

Year / Duration

2009 / 8 weeks

Teaming up with

Jordi Parra and Pierre-Alexandre Poirier


This project explores the characteristics, possibilities and relation of sound with air.

Participants use their hands to modify the volume of air surrounding the two sound capsules suspended in the air. In this way the participants can modulate and mould the sound.

Video on use

This video shows how the device works during the exhibition in the design school  in January 2009. 


First prototype

The first stage of this project was developed in less than two weeks. The team was focused in exploring all the possible alternatives for presenting the concept. 

The usage of the Max MSPaudio aoftware connected to an Arduino board with proximity sensors was the chosen alternative.


Sketching ideas in paper and in electronics

Wind is generated using computer controlled fans inside the capsule. The final form of the capsules channels the wind through the holes situated in each side of the capsules.  

In this way, the participants feel the wind against the palm of their hands (feedback) as soon as they start molding the air coming out from the capsules.

User experience

This project aims to demonstrate the importance of the relation between people, air and sound in a very playful, and tabgible manner.

The sound capsules represent an opportunity for people of treating sound as a tangible material and be able to mold it and manipulate in a very graphical manner by using gestures.



Since the installation occurs in a dark room, the two Music Controller capsules will represent the most prominent light sources in the space in which they will be installed. In doing so, they will augment the visual focus on their surrounding space, inciting people to interact with them.

The capsules have a few of built-in LED´s which helps to attract the user eye's attention to come closer and start interacting with the capsules.