Rainmaking on Mars, a social musical instrument for the journey to Mars

DS 91: Proceedings of NordDesign 2018, Linköping, Sweden, 14th - 17th August 2018

Year: 2018
Editor: Ekströmer, Philip; Schütte, Simon and Ölvander, Johan
Author: Zhang, Betty; Marechal, Nicolas
Series: NordDESIGN
ISBN: 978-91-7685-185-2


In this paper, we describe Rainmaking on Mars, a device developed as a social musical instrument for the 7-month journey to the planet Mars. The instrument was designed to facilitate and enhance social interaction between the travellers of the Mars One community. Using methodologies in design, ethnographic research and physical computing, we produced prototypes that reflect the need for the imagined environment. We interviewed and worked with some of the community members using empathic design. The instrument enables learning and sharing, requiring hands-on interaction with multiple players. The crew members would encounter spontaneity and fun through discovery. Travelling to Mars would challenge the human condition. The instrument would have to be adaptive to constraints, such as space, gravity and limitation of sound. This paper discusses the experimentation with sensors and sounds for the imagined environment of the spaceship.

Keywords: interaction design, physical computing, haptic, empathic design, musical instrument


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