Keeping Learning and Being Creative

I love working on this project because we are doing a creative practice of my interest—music.   Our project is building a water fountain music visualizer that responding to the music in real-time. There are three main stages of our design and building process. First stage is brainstorming and making designs. The second stage is working on building physical modules and driving LEDs by using raspi and Arduino. The third stage is to test and improve our designs for both hardware and software sides. The last stage is to work on the water control.

It’s been 15 weeks of working on this project, and I found out that communication is the most important thing during the creating process. When different ideas collaborate with each other, it has opened my imagination. I have never thought that a physical music visualizer can be built with water. When Parker threw that idea out, it has brought our design to a new stage. Since our project involves a lot of physical installations, and we are all cs people, we have met so many issues with turning out designs into physical module. When any of us has faces problems, we set up meetings and solve them together.

I think our actual progress almost matches our expectations except the water flow control, because it is not as easy as think. In order to implement our original water flow control design, we need to buy some expensive parts which we could not afford it. However, we came up with an alternative way, and still working on it.

Our project requires a lot of electrical knowledges. I wish I had taken some electrical courses, and that way I could help more with designing and installing modules.

For me, I think the most useful way to facilitate creativity is to group and talk with people who have different tech knowledges than you do. Just like this time, Reed has experiences about electrical, Parker has experiences with driving plugins by using raspi, and I have experiences about composing music. Because of those different, it formed our team and our project.

During this project, I figured out that the best way to evaluate a design or a product is to let users to experience it. All the good or bad about the product will show up after actual using and feeling it. Then based on the feedback that we got from users, we improve our module.

I personally enjoyed this class because I have never thought I could build something like this. Even at the beginning of the semester when we came up with this design, I didn’t believe that we can achieve our goal because I didn’t know anything about electrical and how to drive hardware by using software. This somehow has limited me being creative. But we did it! I have learned a lot of electrical and how to use raspi and Arduino. I believe in the future that I will not let the lack of knowledge to limit my creativity!

For the paper that I have read, honestly, I didn’t learn too many things from it. The title of the paper is Performance Place. From the title, looks like it will talk about places that are used to do performance, but turns out, the whole paper is about how to construct a performance place and tell readers how to recognize a performance place from reading pass-bys’ body orientations. If I have to make a reflection about the paper, I would say be brave, and be confident. The street performers can turn a street into their performance spaces just because they are brave and confident enough, so they got succeed on their creative practices. I wish I could be brave and confident like them when I do things that I like.

Just I like I mentioned above, I like this course. I love my team because I have learned so many things from them. They are always being patient with me, even I have asked stupid questions all the time. I’ve barely learned things from the paper that I read so I didn’t do well in the presentation.

Thank you Sang!