Have set up a project site for the BeatBearing:


The main feature is a forum for sharing tips on making your own BeatBearing. The aim is to add more content over the next month including links to academic papers, similar projects, and hopefully details of other peoples BeatBearing projects now that MAKEzine vol.17 is out!

Physical Sketching Slides

I’ve given this talk a few times now. It started with an introduction to physical sketching for a workshop on stylistic interaction at the Tweak festival in Limerick, and then has been modified slightly for presentation to MA students in SARC. This is the most recent version, and contains a short exercise at the end for using physical sketching in the explorative design stage of a novel musical instrument.

The talk is based upon Bill Buxton’s book “Sketching User Experiences”.

The BeatBearing is used as a design example, to help illustrate the difference between sketching and prototyping in the design process.

BeatBearing on BBC Radio Ulster

Last Friday, after the BeatBearing was shown in the Irish News newspaper, I was invited onto the ‘Arts Extra’ show on BBC Radio Ulster. This experience has made me realise quite how difficult it is explaining a tangible interface to a radio audience. I’m also glad it wasn’t a live broadcast, as the BeatBearing decided to stop working half way through the interview and needed some coaxing (and a reboot of Ableton Live) to work again.

If you’re quick, you can catch the whole show using ‘listen again’ on the BBC iPlayer:
The BeatBearing section starts around 10 minutes into the program. Otherwise you can listen to just the section on the BeatBearing here:

Many thanks to Conor McKay for organising the interview, and to Kim Lenaghan (pictured above) for the interview itself.

BeatBearing in the Irish News

The BeatBearing is featured in an article on page 5 of the Irish News today. The title is “Scientist beats Bush, Britney and Paris Hilton all hands down” referencing the number of hits the BeatBearing YouTube demo recieved. You can read the article by clicking on the image above, and the online version is here. Thanks goes to Rose Baker for writing the article.

BeatBearing Interactive demo at NordiCHI’08

You can download the paper that accompanied the interactive demo of the BeatBearing at NordiCHI’08 here:
(clicking on the images above gives you a jpeg preview and not the real thing)

At the moment this is the most complete description of the BeatBearing project to date. Hopefully it helps explain the theory and also why I’m creating a sequencer that doesn’t even play 16th notes!
I managed to take some good video footage of the BeatBearing in use at NordiCHI too, so hopefully I’ll get it edited and posted soon. Until then I’ll post some pictures of the new BeatBearing to whet your appetite.

‘Stylistic Interactions’ workshop at TWEAK


Myself and Michael Gurevich are running a workshop at the TWEAK interactive art and live electronic music festival. The festival will be held in Limerick running from the 22nd to the 27th of September, and the workshop itself will be on Wednesday the 24th. The workshop will focus on how to use interaction design to create stylistic interactions. Here’s the blurb:

“This workshop explores the creation of stylistic interactions through observation, design and prototyping. The workshop will take place over two sessions, The first session will start with a short talk that will introduce the workshop participants to the concept of stylistic interactions and the practice of interaction design. Participants will then be presented with their first task, which will involve observing and documenting interactions around Limerick. The second session will start with a short primer on rapid prototyping and physical sketching methods. The aim will then be to redesign one of the interaction situations that the participants discovered in the first session, with the aim of creating an interface that allows for greater expression of style.”