Hear, See and Hold Sound
Reify is an art/tech startup that uses 3D technologies to create cross-sensory experiences of sound. One expression of this was the creation of a 3D design software that artists could use to sculpt visual interpretations of their music - transforming sound into something we can also see and hold.
I worked with Reify at their Brooklyn-based studio while they were a small team of five. I designed the user experience for their public website, the first iteration of their music-to-sculpture design platform, and the augmented reality player app.
A Tool for Sculpting Sounds
This is a snapshot of the first prototype for the sculpting platform, which was daunting for anyone besides an engineer to use. I was challenged to take this very back-end feeling UI and make it useable for someone without a technical background to design with.
We wanted the next iteration of the tool to allow you to map sound attributes like mood or tempo with physical attributes like contour and texture. I explored various concepts for the new UI in the wireframes below.
Once the UI was finessed by our visual designer, I animated a demo of the new concept in Keynote for Reify’s Kickstarter campaign.
Please excuse the ever-present background sounds of construction around our Bushwick design studio!
Once designed, the models were printed into sculptures. Not every print was a success, but the failures were often beautiful.
Reify does more than bring sounds into the physical world. Their app allows you to "read" sculptures via a totem (much like a stylus reads a record player), and play back the music with a customized AR experience. I did the UX for the app.
Chad & the Bots
This is Chad the office dog, posing with some old-school Makerbots that the team used to hack and experiment new ways to sculpt.
Finally, here are some of the wireframes I created for Reify's website, side by side with the final designs created by our visual designer.