© 2019 by Pinar Ceyhan

HUNT BEATS

Students / Tyler Hayes, Allison Press    Course / Sophomore Design Studio    Role / Research and Design

As part of the Design Studio second year students Tyler Hayes and Allison Press employed participant observation and interview methods to understand the audience, setting, and object relationships within the music rooms, in James B. Hunt Library. Since the music rooms are recently made available for users, the intention of the project is to encourage their use, and increase the exposure of student musicians within the NC State community.

Research Design:

Problem Identified:

There is no platform specifically open to  North Carolina State University (NC State), to share creations with the rest of the university community. Already existing platforms such as SoundCloud, is open to everybody, which does not help creating a close-knit community that shares similar interests within the school. Additionally, not all students are aware that these resources are available for them.

Design Objective:

Encourage use of library music-making labs and to increase exposure of student musicians among the NC State student body.

Design Solution:

A social connection intervention for the James B. Hunt Library patrons at NC State Unviersity. Hunt Beats utilizes an array of wall-mounted visualization screens in several areas in the library, leveraging existing MicroTile technology, along with an interactive wall kiosk and a desktop application to be pre-installed on library computers. 

Users of music rooms can upload music tracks directly to the HuntBeat network. The signature waveforms relayed above each music room entrance as well as to nearby visualization walls as a means of connecting the music making process to other library visitors indicate that recording is in session.

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Tracks uploaded by student creators are stored in the HuntBeat database, and made available to others using the library. HuntBeat tracks can be accessed from wall-mounted kiosks placed near the main entrance of the library. The wall kiosk listening interface is designed to be immediately usable, encouraging busy passersby to listen to the tracks.

Users can plug in their own headphones to a front-facing port, and use the touchscreen interface to navigate the tracks. While the sound visualization displays integrates the recording and production processes that take place in the music rooms with the rest of the library experience in real time, the HuntBeat kiosks and application makes the creations accessible.

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Tracks can be also explored using the HuntBeat desktop application, which is pre-installed on library computers, allowing for more expansive browsing and passive listening while working or studying.

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A straightforward branding guide, emphasizing recognizability and pliability enables a variety of uses. To ensure that as many students as possible are aware of HuntBeat, during a launch event visitors can have their photographs taken with friends in the main area of the library, and receive a branded poster featuring the image.

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 PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION 

Music Room was observed and video recorded when being used.

 INTERVIEW 

Semi-structured interview method was employed to better understand the underlying expectations and motivation, and the issues arise.