Tactile Orchestra consists of a soft, furry surface that reacts to touch. When stroked, the interaction causes a range of sounds, that can be explored throughout the fabric. Through collaboration, multiple participants together create a symphony, treating the fabric as their orchestra. Tom Kortbeek: “Participation and collaboration are often mentioned as key solutions to societal issues. But what does it really mean to join in, to get involved? What is the best way to work together and collectively discover new things? Tactile Orchestra explores these questions in a playful and approachable way.”
The installation was originally developed during an artist-in-residence program called Oddstream in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. With a background and interest in technology and smart textiles, Designer Roos Meerman joined forces with Tom Kortbeek, who studied musical theatre. Together they developed the idea for an interactive wall with smart textile, that plays parts of a musical symphony when stroked.
After the first prototype was presented in Gorizia (Italy), the project quickly gained media attention and was featured in a multitude of exhibitions throughout the country. Receiving positive feedback from unexpected sources such as the healthcare industry, the installation now forms the basic principle behind Kozie, a family of multi-sensory objects that have been designed specifically to aid elderly suffering from dementia. This version of Tactile Orchestra has been exhibited in Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City (US).