• Community Through Music



    PODDITTIES symphony

    This project would not be possible without the generosity and expertise of Carolyn Strauss of slowLab, Greg Trefry of Come Out & Play, and Steve Lambert of Eyebeam.

    At the nexus of the Information Age and consumerism we find that music and technology have been repackaged to suit our "me" culture, isolating us and stifling spontaneous interaction.

    PODDITTIES symphony is a design intervention marketed to independent cafés, allowing laptop- and internet phone-users to influence the original, ambient music played on the café's sound system. Exploring notions of placemaking and conviviality, Mark Silver has created a simple, non-invasive interface that replaces conventional log-in "splashes."

    Café-goers appreciate subtle fluctuations in the music, understand their place in the whole, and take away an alternate perspective of music and technology. Café owners will find symphony attractive, as it can be tailored to enhance the café's identity, it consolidates music and internet services into one package, subscribing cafés are joined to a worldwide network, and so forth.

    And because PODDITTIES symphony delimits place with a wireless router, symphony spots can pop up wherever a router is found: in dorms, in parks, and so on. The PODDITTIES umbrella might grow to include other products and services concerned with music, technology, and conviviality.

  • Mark,

    Hey! Sorry it has taken me so long to get feedback to you - for some reason your project wasn't listed in the invitation I originally received from Parsons. Anyway, here I am, and I'm happy to respond to your fun project...

    It's refreshing to read something that addresses "we" versus "me"; and I agree with you about the individualism and disconnection from community we feel as a result of behaviors that have grown out of consumer electronic designs. Podditties, as intervention, and Podditties, as tool to support spontaneous placemaking, are very appealing ideas. I think it could be quite easily implemented as well. You've clearly thought this through.

    It allows for delight among listeners and discovery of new sounds, too. The metaphor of the symphony is nice, tying into music of course but also reminding individuals that beautiful music is often made even more beautiful when a community of people come together and share their talents, passions and personal creativity.

    Thanks for considering the technical requirements. Try to also think of cost and how you might get this prototyped somewhere soon. Good luck!


  • In response to thesis feedback, posted by Jennifer Leonard,
    in the thread Community Through Music


    Thanks so much for taking the time to review our projects. Your feedback was a good litmus test for the concerns raised during our reviews.

    Looking forward to seeing you at the Felissimo townhouse next week.


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