How do you design an object made to erode over time?
This radio was an exploration into physically eroding, yet emotionally durable design that invited the user to imprint on the radio by the wear of their interaction on the surface of the radio.
I did a lot of sketching during this project - partly to fully flesh out the concept, but mostly to determine how it would work. I find that constant prototyping and making helps the most with regards to determining visual properties, but sketching helps to make me think about the logistics of the radio and how parts might come together.
Using Arduino was new for me here. It was a fun challenge to draw through the diagrams and determine how to hook up the capacitive sensors. It was interesting to think through how this highly technical experience of the Arduino was fitting within a different, larger, and more exploratory experience of the radio.
Sketching was a huge part of figuring out not only the aesthetic aspects of the radio, but also helped in determining how to put the radio together. The radio underwent a lot of changes in order to balance feasibility of construction with its visual appearance. I chose to use spalted maple because the wood itself has patterning akin to erosion and I wanted to steer away from complicating the form with any shaping. Originally, I planned to use wood for the interactive panel, but wanted to choose a material that eroded over time and ended up using a natural clay.