Design research // Material Speculation
2017 - 2019
Everyday Design Studio
Giving physical form to metadata
Online music listening platforms like Spotify, Apple Music enable people to access unprecedented amounts of music instantly. In turn, the digital format of these platforms enable the platform to keep track of what tracks users listen to. As people listen to music through these platforms, growing metadata archives are created that specify precisely what music has been listened to in the past. Last.fm is a service that tracks all music people listened to through streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Soundcloud and others. These metadata archives are a rich, but often overlooked resource for interaction design.
With OLO Radio, we explore metadata as a design material. OLO Radio allows its user to browse through their Last.fm archive in several different time-frames. Although the underlying Last.fm archive can be vast, the design of OLO Radio contrasts this with intentionally minimal controls and feedback. Through this design strategy, we created a physical interface that is minimal, yet rich in its interaction possibilities - sparking moments of serendipity, exploration and reminiscence.
My involvement in this project comprised the physical design, circuit design, PCB design, manufacturing (both outsourced and in-house) and partially the coding of the firmware.
Video © Tijs Duel