MACRO UX | Culture Mile - Week 4

Week 4 🗓: 3 Feb - 7 Feb

Brief 🔍

Design a way for people to discover the cultural richness of the City of London

Teammates: 🤝Nancy, Tracie and LuLu

Midpoint Review with client

This week, we went to client's office and presented the idea to them. After presenting our ideas, they provided us with some valuable feedback. Firstly, for idea 1, they like the Mosaic design and they suggested us to think of other narrative stories or themes which are more related to workers or even some humorous stories, instead of just thinking about histories. Secondly, for idea 2, they suggested us to think of how to deal with the technical problems and try to make it real. They hope we can combine two ideas together or just pick one to develop. Therefore, we discussed and confirmed to choose the "Musical Bridge" as own final idea. It is because we think this is more potential for targeting our audience.


Research & Behavioral Observation 📚

Our concept is creating a public intervention that helps people relate more and feel a sense of belonging to the place and area. From the first step, we've done a lot of research about the history of that area and have observed it several times. Then we found that during lunchtime, there are more people that most of them are workers that walk through the bridge. People use their lunch break as an escape from their offices and for a change of scenery. So it's an opportunity for us to do some installations to let them feel enjoyable.


Since the barbican center hosts classical and contemporary music concerts, this area has a connection to music. Also, there is a school called guildhall school of music and drama. Sometimes people can hear some instruments playing when they walk through this area. So it will be a good way to use music to let people feel a sense of belonging to the area.


Concept & Ideation 💡

Then, we did some behavioral observation in the Barbican area and found that lots of commuters go across the Barbican bridge heading to a market for lunch.

So we want to put the installation on the bridge at lunchtime to let commuters feel relax when they are passing by. When one person passes by, one instrument plays. When more people pass by, more instruments play. When there are enough people, it feels like they are all playing a concert together.


How? 🤔

In order to make our concept come true, we need to find out how to deal with music and technical problems. For tackling how to edit the Music and divide them into different instruments, we had a meeting with the teacher in Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Photos of meeting Guildhall school teacher


We told him about our idea and asked for advice. He also taught us how to execute it by using different professional music editing softwares, like "Logic Pro X", "GarageBand" and "Max". Then, we downloaded some music in the "Midi" format and input them into "GarageBand". So that we can divide the music into different instruments and export them into MP3 format. When we were choosing the music, we considered classical music, like playing by Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. And also, we tried some jazz and concert music which Barbican already played. As we thought that there is a lot of history in the Culture Mile area, is better to start with some classical music. For the tone and feel, as we know that the workers want to refresh during lunchtime, so we aimed to find some songs which are happy and relaxing. Then we picked "Jesu Joy Of Man's Desiring" by Bach and allocated the instrument based on the Voice type - High, middle and low. So, with all the separated soundtracks, we can then do the coding and match them with our music in order to detect people.

Editing music in GarageBand (Edited by me)

Soundtrack🔊 1. Key melody - Paino

Soundtrack🔊 2. Paino + String

Soundtrack🔊 3. String

Soundtrack🔊 4. String

Final 🔊 All play together

Next Step 🙌

After editing the music, we planned to bring the soundtracks to visit Creative Technology Lab in order to seek help for editing the coding. Moreover, we divided our works, Tracie is responsible for the coding, Nancy and LuLu are responsible for making the phonograph horns. And I am responsible for editing the music and setting up the experience. Please have a look at the next blog for further progress.


References 📖

Chudley, J. and Allen, J., 2013.Smashing Ux Design. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.


Hanington, B. and Martin, B., 2019.Universal Methods Of Design Expanded And Revised: 125 Ways To Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, And Design Effective Solutions. Rockport Publishers.


Laurel, B., 2003.Design Research: Methods and Perspectives. MIT Press.


Markusen, A. and Gadwa, A., 2010. Creative Placemaking. National Endowment of the Arts. Washington, D.C.

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