Touch boards make your projects interactive. You can turn touch into sound and make any surface interactive. This is something that I wanted create with my our piece of work. I have had previous experience with Arduino and programming to make movement, and luckily the Touch board can be used with the same program. The board basically works by creating sensors with the Touch Board’s 12 electrodes and trigger sounds through its MP3 player. However for my own project I wanted to incorporate lights as well, so went and found one of the technicians who was an Arduino whizz. He suggested that I use a bread board to extend the touch boards electrodes and a Cd4094 chip, which is a shift register. It enabled me to create more points for the touch board. Below is the PDF which I used to link up the different points on it.
The chip enabled me to control lighting (neopixels). Below is a picture of the boards set up.
After this was set up I attached mini LED’s to the bread board so that I could begin writing the code to co-ordinate with the touch board sensors. This is code that was written below for the programming of the chip. Its basically written as a loop which will made the LED’s turn on with a delay in between and then start again.
Next step was to upload and record the sound files for the touch board. The sound files needed to be converted in MP3’s. They have to specifically named and then uploaded onto a micro memory card which can be inserted into the touch board its self. Once this was done, I was ready to start creating my piece for it to work on.
Rather than making a poster or leaflet I wanted to create something that was interactive the audience. With maybe the possibility of using an ardunio or touch board using open coding, something which I had a little experience with in my last field project.
It started to sketch out ideas from the layout. From googling creativity the images that brought up where mostly of light bulbs to represent the creative industry. My initial thought was to create an installation using large light bulbs to represent the different employment sectors within the creative industry. With each one lighting up as you flick a switch and different information regarding that sectors displayed underneath the light bulb.
However after discussing my idea with one of the technicians it was not a viable idea, due to it having to be PAT tested and use of a large amount of electronic. So I was pointed into the direction of using conductive paint and a touch board to make different elements light up or make sound when touched.
In a group workshop we were asked to develop our ideas and sketch out different layouts, and then discuss within the group. These are the sketches that I produced below. From our group discussion it was thought at the second one was a clearer representation of the creative industries.
I needed to more away from the cliche of the light bulb to represent the creative industries. I really like elements of the initial sketches, especially the line drawings at the bottom of the my second sketch.
I decided to develop this further, with ideas of maybe painting out my final piece. Below are more layout sketches.
My ideas was that when you touch certain parts of the piece it light up and tell you information about the creative industry. For instance when you touched any part around the Gerkin (representing London) it would tell you that 33% of the creative industry jobs are based in and around London. It would be made with conductive ink and linked up with a touch board, so what when touched it would connect to the sound board when an MP3 sound file would play. At the same time a key would light up and show what the context is sounding the sound file.
The kind of style to the drawing reminded me of the place mat that was in a restaurant in Barcelona. I like that fact that everything linked up with a line around it, something that I though would work well with my piece to connect all the elements which make up the creative industry.
Now that I had a fairly good idea of what the piece was going to look like. I needed to delve into how to programme the touch board and make it all connect up with lights as well.
The sites above was where I started to research into facts and stats surrounding the creative industries. From this I mapped out a few points of interest. However the data that I found that would be most relevant was on the UNESCO website which had stats about the creative industry in the UK.
There is no stats for the year 2017 as they had not been collated yet, the latest ones that I could use where taken from 2016, with a compassion going back to 2010. There is a massive grown from 2010 of 44.8% with a four times the rate growth to other industries such as the motor industry.
Now that I had the data, it was time to think about how I want to show this visually.