Serenity Local [Stem Accessibility]

A modified newspaper box which provides a sonic break from chaotic informationscapes of the city. Site specific ambient interpretations of localized field recordings and characteristic lighting provide a brief headspace for visitors to take it easy and reduce their neural processing power load. Serenity Local is about rest and relaxation. About taking mental breaks and engaging with environments with slowness and calmness.

Technical Description
This project entices users to stick their head into a news box with pulsating lighting, beat driven music with a sharp high pass filter on (making it sound like you are standing out of a music venue) and graphical instructional sinage. A hidden PIR senses when a visitor has stuck their head into the box and changes the audio playing (from an SD card breakout to 3.5mm audio jack into a small also hidden speaker) into an ambient sound piece comprised of field recordings from the immediate environment and interpretations of those recordings and listening. The lights also change to a slower, wave like sequence. On the bottom of the inside box is a hole showing a scene with sand and suspended keepsakes found from the immediate area.

Ideation / Goals
  • To offer a space for folks to pause and chill that’s not separate from but within of their everyday surroundings.
  • To allow folks to catch up with sonic information we are constantly processing.
  • Peak interest / curiosity
  • People approach the box
  • People ask questions about the box
  • Offer a break
  • People take their time in the box
  • People share they felt relaxed by their time in the box

Not in order necessarily
1. Source newspaper box with posture/comfort of user in mind
2. Gather other materials (speaker, electronic components, sound proofing foam, craft supplies)
3. Modify box to fit certain objects (big bit driver into interior cieling + velcro to mount speaker, little holes for wire managment, saw to thin sound proofing foam + double sided tape to mount + construction paper to avoid contact with user’s head). 
4. Finalize circuit and wire length + securing systems. 
5. Capture field recordings on site of future project display.
6. Manipulate and co-synthesize recordings in ableton to enhance calming propeties. 
7. Design (with illustrations by Ylang Cao) and vinyl print branding stickers to stylize the box and communicate it’s vibe. 
7. User test!

Next Steps
I no longer wish to pursue this project. If I did I would add syncopated programmable LEDs in the body of the newspaper box which has already been trashed by administrative order. Also if I had a million dollars I would replace the speaker system with paramectric speakers. 


STEM Accessibility