Percussive Lampposts

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Submitted by

Mike Glaser, Spank Design
New York, NY

Summary

Percussive Lampposts encourage impromptu, collaborative music "jamming", using the sound of tapping on a metal lampposts at Grand Concourse intersections as the main element for musical compositions. They’ll capture short, rhythmic phrases from casual taps, amplify them, and use them to "seed" a rhythm broadcast through lamppost speakers and online.

Description

Percussive Lampposts encourage impromptu, collaborative music "jamming", using the sound of tapping on a metal lampposts at Grand Concourse intersections as the main element for musical compositions. An electronic assembly installed inside each lamppost base will capture short, rhythmic phrases from casual taps on the lamppost’s surface (by knuckles, palms, rings, keys, etc.), amplify them, and then use them to "seed" a longer rhythm that will eventually fade out.

The project’s goals are to:
- Celebrate the Grand Concourse as an extraordinary, unified boulevard
- Reinforce the idea of community
- Bring an element of delight to the mundane experience of waiting for a streetlight to change
- Allow residents and visitors to actively and collaboratively participate in real-time, dynamic musical composition
- Pay homage to the Bronx as the birthplace of hip hop

The project setup includes labeling to indicate the lampposts’ association with the project. Percussive phrases generated by lampposts along the Grand Concourse will be layered onto the composition (the closer the lampposts are to one another, the louder that sound is heard at any particular location) and timed so the tempo is synced. The electronic module will include: a sound vibration pickup, speaker/amplifier set and WiFi module to wirelessly send sounds to a central database to be dynamically synced and rebroadcast to lamppost locations and to an interactive, online map.

Spank believes in using the visual and the tactile to bring joy to everyday life. We use design authorship as a powerful vehicle for social commentary.

Percussivelampposts_cat_a