learning the ropes

things I made at ITP and after: sketches, prototypes, and other documentation

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lost | Found

Uses sound, physical performance, and the visceral tension of the Rope&Pulley instrument to explore the cycles of one man’s life.

posted by Michael at 9:18 am  

Monday, April 14, 2008


“rope&pulley” is a performance tool which combines media playback with large expressive gestures in physical space.

posted by Michael at 8:12 am  

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rope & Pulley

“Rope & Pulley” is a kinetic sculpture and interface for performing audio. Fabricated from recycled cardboard and old computer parts, it was built with the idea that digital technology allows us the opportunity to endlessly remix and recycle audio. This is evident in both the building materials and in the interaction the piece affords. The rope and pulleys reference the look of an old reel-to-reel tape deck or a magnetic tape loop.

This interface is partly about the idea of looping music, a key to the production of most modern popular music, but also about the juxtaposition of the body motion with music playback and creation.


posted by Michael at 9:21 am  

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Dust: A Personal Wearable Companion with a Positive Personality

Baked Dust

Dust is a 2″ x 3.25″ prototype wearable companion made of polymer clay and electronics. It speaks encouraging phrases such as, “it’s ok” and “you’re awesome!” throughout the day in response to human touch. You can sense Dust’s presence throughout the day; it vibrates, snores, and even passes gas.

My Role
As a collaborator with Shinyoung Park on the Dust project, I have developed custom software and hardware to demonstrate Dust’s personality.

- Hardware hacking
- Arduino code
- Schematic
- Printed circuit board design and fabrication


posted by Michael at 2:03 pm  

Monday, April 30, 2007

Grass Grows from the Middle

gpv stepping in sl stepping in ad stepping in

Idea:“Grass Grows from the Middle” is a musical field which imitates the feeling of moving through stalks of wheat. As the user moves through the field, different music samples are played.

The first iteration of “Grass Grows…” is a 3′ x 3′ prototype containing 10 5′ high stalks. Each stalk is programmed to play a different starting point in the first movement of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.”

Michael Chladil
Shlomit Lehavi

ITP Audio Art Show (April 30, 2007)


posted by Michael at 10:50 am  

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Musical Spinning Tops: A Kinetic Sculptural Curtain

Gyros in Motion

“Musical Spinning Tops” is a kinetic sculptural curtain which incorporates salvaged parts from hard disk drives to highlight the theme of reuse and the cycle of products from raw material to designed object and back to raw material.

Spinning toys such as tops and gyroscopes transform from one shape into another. No matter the starting shape of a top, once it rotates it forms the shape of a circle. In recycling, a similar process occurs. The designed shape of an object, after its operating lifecycle is complete, is transformed back into raw material and then back into a new designed object. The rotation of elements in the sculpture refer to this process.

- Michael Chladil
- Greg Stringer


posted by Michael at 10:42 pm  

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Secret Tree


The Secret Tree listens, interprets and stores people’s secrets in its leaves or fruits with a unique format.

Interactive sound installation which invites participants to confess their secrets. As people speak their secrets into a large knothole in the center of the to the tree it “grows” with blooming flowers and whispering fruits.

6′ tall cardboard tree with LED lighting and miniature speakers

The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
In the Mood for Love – Wong Kar Wai

Michael Chladil
Jee-Sun Lee
Ai-Chen Lin

My Role:
- Arduino microcontroller code
- MAX/MSP Programming
- Prototype circuit design and fabrication
- Basic woodworking

See the process.

posted by Michael at 3:35 pm  

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Drum Shoes

Happy Feet-21

The “Drum Shoes” are a pair of custom sandals designed to play drum sounds. These wearable music controllers to trigger drum samples as the user taps his or her feet to the music.

- Michael Chladil
- Lisa Lurie
- Hatti Lim

My Role
- Conceptual development
- MAX/MSP programming
- Circuit design and perfboard construction

posted by Michael at 8:56 pm  

Sunday, November 26, 2006

You are Beautiful

An animated kaleidoscope which encourages observers to consider the beauty they present to the world around them.

“You are Beautiful” is an interactive video installation. Participants see part of their reflection rendered as a kaleidoscope and are encouraged to consider their unique beauty in a new way. A computer program written in Processing generates a kaleidoscopic image from a video camera. A series of geometric transformations rearrange the image the camera “sees” into a beautiful abstraction.

- Michael Chladil
- Shinyoung Park

My Role
- Graphics programming in Processing — a rapid application development environment for Java.
- Concept development

Interactive Telecommunications Program Hallway Gallery – Spring 2007

posted by Michael at 8:47 pm  

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Meditation: Light and Space

This two minute video explores the interaction between light and space.

A melancholy sleepless night is transformed by a thunderstorm.

- 1′ x 1′ x 1′ (appx) set made out of foamcore
- Sound design created from Creative Commons-licensed elements from FreeSound
- Piano music recorded in my home studio

posted by Michael at 8:48 am  

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