Blending Objects

This project was both difficult to understand and easy to complete. We were asked to think of two actions that are similar and come up with an object that blends them together. Many of us submitted over a dozen ideas that didn’t quite fit the bill – I can’t full explain why; some were too focused on the object rather than the action, some were too focused on the narrative behind the experience rather than the immediate sensory action required for the experience.

My final idea turned out to be one of my simplest. I kept trying to expand on it and then finally realised that it worked well because of its simplicity.

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Find what you want and tune it to full clarity – this is what happens when you tune a radio or focus a lens with a simple turning action.

Soundscope combines these functions in a multi-purpose audio device, disguised as a high-end camera lens.

The focus ring doubles as a tuning dial while the zoom ring is repurposed for volume control.

The front of the lens contains a visual interface, controlled by the focus ring. As you focus the lens, new stations come into view and gain clarity, mirroring the aural effect of tuning the radio.

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I started model-making pretty early on. My first idea was an analogue radio x optical lens:

I worked out pretty quickly that in order to display a range of frequencies, this would be the heaviest, most expensive radio ever made. To digital we go!

I thought that simply making a bluetooth speaker that looked like a lens wasn’t pushing very far, so I looked at making a radio for hipsters, banking on the iconic Rolleiflex design:

When I was eventually encouraged to embrace the simple, I created my final model:

  1. I laser-cut MDF and built up the shape in layers.
  2. I sanded + poly-filled the filleted ring and was really pleased with the finish.
  3. I used rubberised spray-paint topped with matte black paint for the hand grips.
  4. I used gloss-black to create the slight sheen segments and then gloss-black atop primer to replicate the high-gloss upper ring.
  5. A black stocking was used to represent the speaker.
  6. I printed most of the markings and painted the bolder ones by hand.
  7. Finally, I pasted a printout of the interface and carefully glued a piece of plastic from a takeaway container to create the lens.

I was also able to use my video experience to bash out a video demonstration of how the device would function as a digital/physical object.

Ideation on Blended Actions:

Further Development of the Lens/Radio Idea:

My final presentation was displayed like this:

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