Top 5 Constraints: Sonic Chair

My top 5 constraints for my chair design will be:

Size and Weight:
I need to make sure the chair is easily portable around the Engineering Center and easy to set up. This is primarily for being able to show it in class. I may consider adding wheels to it, or potentially start with a flat pad and a frame, like a futon.

I would choose an aesthetic appearance that would incorporate round, plush edges atop a grunge-style frame or base. It should look comfortable and the user should want to try sitting in different positions. I am going for an immersive experience as part of my aesthetic choices, so it’s not just in how it looks, but how it sounds.

I will consider my cost as I have an excruciatingly limited budget right now. I intend to apply for GSF funding once I have fleshed out a design proposal.

The chair will need certain types of fabric, foam filling, sensors, a microcontroller, as well as frame materials like wood or perhaps fibreglass. In addition, I will need an amplifier and speaker cones. I will likely re-use some of the speaker cones from my upcycle project, as I have acquired a large number of them by now.

As much as I’d like to pour a ton of time into this creation, I only have so much of it on top of my other classes. This will cause me to reconsider how I manage my time on the project so I end up with the best outcome. I will need to consider different phases, such as the following:

  • Design Phase: I’ve been sketching a multitude of ideas that incorporate my chosen aesthetic with the required materials and enclosures. I will make a 3D model using cardstock paper for a mannequin to sit in. Next comes fleshing out the design in closer detail with SolidWorks or perhaps Rhino.
  • Testing Phase: I will order the functional parts of my project to see which sensors will work the best for it. I will also write the code for my project that includes output of MIDI commands when a sensor or set of sensors is activated.
  • Building Phase: First I plan to build the cushion with the interactive features on it. Once I’ve tested building a small, hand-sized version of it, I will move on to build the entire cushion. The base with the speakers will be built at this time too. Perhaps I will require my team’s help at this stage.
  • Paint and Finishing Touches: Lastly, I will paint or otherwise add the finishing touches to my project.
  • Interaction Design: From then on, I would refine the software of the project. I will focus on sound design at this point, perhaps calling on the help of friends or classmates who are musicians.


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5 Comments. Leave new

  • Jack Plantz
    May 8, 2019 9:26 pm

    Time and cost are definitely significant constraints. It’s important to recognize that every design, even if it’s mostly about aesthetics has to be finished and able to be made in the end. I definitely found this working on my project.

  • […] Top 5 Constraints: Sonic Chair […]

  • Samuel Sawyer
    May 8, 2019 3:19 pm

    It looks like a very heavy constraint on everybody is time! I would have expected in the beginning that the two heaviest for many people would be time and money. It is reassuring to see that everybody feels comfortable with the aesthetic direction the have chosen, and are not super worried about how they will incorporate this portion!

  • Nicole Maggio
    April 29, 2019 5:25 pm

    Time was definitely a constraint for me too. It seems like everything came along smoothly!

  • Joshua Engmorris
    March 16, 2019 10:56 am

    Luke, this is an interesting, unique idea. I like your idea to make it play different moods of music depending on how you are sitting on the chair. What type of environment to you imagine this chair being in?


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