Solina – an interactive water feature

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Spending time near a public water feature can be pleasing and relaxing — but what if it was exciting and engaging at the same time?

Solina is a water feature that acts as a public attraction as well as an instrument.
Water connects people, providing an inviting focal point to gather by in public environments. Solina enhances the connective concept of a water feature by using musical ambiance and collaborative playing to encourage interaction between people.

In contrast to more traditional public instruments such as public pianos, Solina doesn’t require commitment or musical skill to be enjoyed, and multiple people can play it together. The sounds are produced by simple interactions with vessels of water, creating a harmonious atmosphere.

Solina was exhibited at:

Atelier Water 2017, public exhibition, Dundee, United Kingdom

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When designing Solina with a team, my focus was the interaction design, visual design and audio design. As the feedback to the player was mostly auditory, it was a design challenge to maintain a consistent harmony between all the experimental sounds. Requiring no skill to play, the audio feedback from Solina to the players had to be pleasant regardless of which vessels were played simultaneously, or in what order. The core loop consist of interactions that feel fun: dipping a finger or holding a vessel.

Solina doesn’t only play notes – it plays an ambient, water-related sound that reminds us of the real world but also has a hint of something magical.

Solina has a total of nine water vessels, divided to three levels. Each of the levels represent a high, medium or a low scale. Solina has 18 sounds in total which I sampled from real life water sounds and mixed with effects. Each vessel can play two different sounds: one when the vessel is being touched and second when a player dips their finger into the water briefly. Thus when played together the sounds are in harmony and create a calming, otherworldly atmosphere and soundscape.
The player can start playing with any vessel at any time, and arrange a series of magical sounds with others using their creative freedom.

High ambient sounds:

High rythm sounds:

High effect sounds:

Mid ambient sounds:

Mid rythm sounds:

Mid effect sounds:

Low ambient sounds:

Low rythm sounds:

Low effect sounds:

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Solina Tiff1
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Find Solina on Instagram: @solina_project

Solina is designed by: Virpi Väinölä, Jenna Maudlin, Frazer Grant
Photos and video by: Virpi Väinölä

Published by Virpi Väinölä