Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Than a Paint Job: A Musical Framework

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Even if "the inclusion of high-quality components does not always imply a design is likely to become ensouled; the way the components of a design form its whole is similarly important" (Odom, et. al, 2008, PDF). Last week, I asked not only why was vinyl do important (on a material, sensorial, and functional levels), but also more importantly, "How do people view music?" I found different people saw music as different things. They saw music as:

  1. Something to simply fill up their iPod
  2. Something you grow in and out of
  3. Entertainment
  4. Single experiences
These are all different audiences.

For children, you can create collectibles for them. Kids collect. They share. They start young. "Let's start my _____ collection." Older people hold onto music as memories - a catalyst for nostalgia.

For millenials or Generation "Y," they fall into both camps. Both their memories and means for expression are plural, consuming music at an unprecedented rate and in turn, changing the way they view the world. For them, music can and will change, as they are free-floating on the internet like ideas you stumble upon in a book. The only difference is these resources are readily available, fast-fed, and infinitely remixable.

It is this act and view of remixing that plays a vital role into the self-expression of youth today. To create, play, and share is to not be forgotten. In other words, music is still a collectible, but not in the traditional sense of ownership, but as a medium for self-fulfillment. A small piece that plays a large role in defining identity. A catalyst for expression.

Hence the design of any music delivery system requires certain values to take priority over others. One of them being the embodied experience of creating value within the domestic space. The other being designing a network of technologies that merge together as a cohesive whole. Understanding these values allows us to create experiences that are natural, seamless, and fun. Best of all, it helps further bridge the gap between multiple generations, providing more insight and understanding about one another than ever before.


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