Tuned Stairs, Fabrica Interactive design

by filipe pais

05_stairsfrombelow_mVideo / pictures

Tuned Stairs is the introductory installation for the Fabrica exhibition at Center Pompidou on 6 October – 13 November 2006. As visitors walk down the stairs leading to the exhibition, their footsteps activate a musical sound. The installation refocuses the attention of the visitor onto their footfalls – allowing them the opportunity to compose their timing, movement, and the resulting melody.
This project is a collaboration with Hansi, Federico, Carlo and Andy


On each of the stairs is a matt-switch which activates the instrument-playing mechanism attached on the outside of the banister. The armature is made of steel with a pull-thust solenoid attached to it. Above the solenoid is a tuned resonating bar facing down. As the matt-switch is activated, the solenoid momentarily strikes the resonating bar – resulting in a soft delicate sound resonating through the local area. The matt-switch’s signal gets fed into an arduino board which then activates the solenoid mechanism through a transistor circuit. Each arduino has its own conduit board built to easily connect the switches to their corresponding solenoid mechanisms.

Links: Fabrica, Andy Cameron, Daniel Hirschmann, Hans Raber, Federico Urdaneta and Carlo Zoratti, 2006