Final Project: Note Cubes – Wanfang Diao

Assignment,Final Project,Submission — Wanfang Diao @ 3:45 pm


How we learn about our physical world? How we learn light? How we learn sound? How we get the basic concept of space and time?

As for me, I learned form experience. I learned from the experience of stack toy bricks and tearing them down. I learned from  tapping a stainless steel plate with wooden spoon. I learn from doing, learn from trials. Once I get the rule of game, I begin to create.

In this project, I want to make music notes more tangible and touchable, which can be experienced in a more intuitive way. I aim to build a very straight forward mapping relationship between “time/sound” and “space/light(or color)” , which can not only give children a concept of the structure  of melody but also give them access to  create  a piece of music.

Therefore, I designed the Note Cubes, a set of tangible cubes for kids to explore sound, notes and rhythm. By putting them a line or also stacking them (just like playing toy bricks), kids can let cubes trigger their “neighbor cubes “by colorful LEDs to play notes and then get a piece of sound or melody after a few time trials.

Note Cubes from Wanfang Diao on Vimeo.


This project has been shown at Assemble ( ) Dec. 2013.Here is the video about how kids play with Note Cubes!What I learn from the show is there should be more obvious signs to the trigger direction of cubes. And more shapes can be explored.


Public Show for Note Cubes2 from Wanfang Diao on Vimeo.

About tech:
There is micro-controller (Trinket), photosensors, speaker and LEDs in each cubes. Each speaker can play notes when triggered by LED lights from other cubes under the control of micro-controller.
The cube’s shell is made by hardboard by laser cutting.
Thanks for the help of Ali Momeni, Dale Clifford, Zack Jacobson-Weaver,  Madeline Gannon and my  friends in CoDelab!



No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
(c) 2024 Hybrid Instrument Building 2014 | powered by WordPress with Barecity