Mechanical movement

Made by Min Hwang

Describing sound in 3d object

Created: October 14th, 2016



Write about the big ideas behind your project? What are the goals? Why did you make it? What are your motivations?

I tried to express the movement I felt while I listened to the music I chose. In the background of the music, I can continuously hear a clanking which seems like a sound originating from a big mechanical object. From this, I thought it would be appropriate to construct a 3d object that can visualize this continuous, scheduled, unceasing and mechanical sound. After some brainstorming I came up with the idea that gears would be the best object that can represent the sound track. 

The goal of this project was to make gears that can actually turn with sync to the audio track so that it conveys the implied movement that I felt in the music. 

Ideate warming up
Min Hwang -


What was the final representation. What did you create? What is it composed with (materials, shapes, forms)? Describe the textures, colors, etc.

The final product was a cardboard gear made out of cereal boxes. The toothpick on the smaller gear work as a handle to rotate the small gear, which will also turn the large gear. 

The platform is cereal box itself. Gears are made out of same material, but they are bumped up to 3D by taping masking tape along the edge. The bottom of the gears are sticked to the platform by push pin, which allows the gears to spin.

The overall texture is quite rough as I used cardboards to create the product. Thus it makes constant noise of cardboards grinding against one other when I turn the gears.

The color of the product is nothing fancy, because 2 hours were just enough to finish the gears.



How did you approach the assignment and re-creation of the work in a physical medium? Cite examples that informed your approach

First I picked the music I like, then I tried to draw what I can imagine while I listened to the music. I didn't realized while I was making the creating, but thinking now I feel the product resembles one of the Zimoun's artworks, the piece where bunch of boxes were sliding against each other. 

After selecting what kind of 3d object I want to make, I tried to come up with best material to build the shape. Usually gears are made with metal, and the music made me to think of metallic features, however, I couldn't find such material near me. The first thing that I could have my hands on was cardboard boxed we accumulated to recycle. Therefore I selected them to be my primary source of building 3d creation.



I think the product represents the sound track quite well. Although it is not featuring the details of the music, however, I believe it captures the gist of the track. I made a short video to demonstrate this point. When the music is played along the creation they go together quite well. 

I am not sure if I nailed what I am required to do in this assignment. Rather than examining the ups and downs of the music, I interpreted the sound as what it represents and what I felt while listening to it. Maybe next time if I do the same project, I might want to focus on the shape of the music itself than focusing on how I interpret. 

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62-150 Intro to Media Synthesis and Analysis

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New creative industries are empowering new modes of collaborative consumption, creation and reuse of media. This often relies on successful collaborations between cross-trained artists, designers a...more


Describing sound in 3d object