Koda is a multidisciplinary collaboration between students from New Media Design, Industrial Design, and New Media Interactive Development at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

THE FOUR FACETS OF KODA

If there's one thing we know, it's that kids (and most of us for that matter) love to play a whole lot more than they love to learn. With this playful spirit in mind, we were inspired by our younger weekends exploring the science museum and recesses spent on the playground, and set out to create physical stations and interactions that were engaging, elegant, and fun.

Chord Progression

CHORD SLIDERS

Control the chords played during each measure by adjusting large-scale sliders.

L.E.D.s

An LED array next to each slider indicates which of seven chord choices is selected.

Rhythm

RHYTHM PADS

Fill in the percussion track with your hands on soft, touch-sensitive pads.

L.E.D.s

An LED sequence keeps track of the beat so you can stay in sync.

Melody

MELODY PIPES

Play melody lines by touching metal rods tuned to notes that always sound good.

L.E.D.s

LEDs illuminate the pipes on contact for added visual feedback.

Dynamics

DYNAMICS WHEEL

Raise or lower the volume of the song by turning a large wheel.

L.E.D.s

A strip of LEDs shine in relation to the audio levels.

READ THE FULL STORY

Download the full KODA documentation to learn about our concept, research, design iteration, technologies, and more.

VISUALIZING THE MUSIC

In addition to being beautiful, we wanted our visual elements to reflect the musical concepts that they were representing. Each musical "particle" behaves differently.

CHORDS

RHYTHM

MELODY

DYNAMICS

A NUMBER OF NOTES

The shape of chord particles correspond to the number of notes in the selected chord.

Major and minor triads will spawn triangle particles while more complex jazz chords, like 7ths or 9ths will spawn diamonds or pentagons.

THE MOMENTUM

Rhythm particles pulse along with the beat of the song, altering the movement of nearby particles.

MELODIC PHRASES

An uninterrupted stream of notes keeps melody particles connected in a strand, maintaining the shape of a melodic phrase.

BREATHING LIFE

The dynamics particles affect all the other particles on screen by scattering them outward or pulling them in, based on the volume adjustment.

FOLLOW OUR PROGRESS

Read along in our blog as we describe each step in our production process from conception to exhibition.

SANDBOX SONGS

Writing the music for Koda was a balancing act between allowing enough freedom to experiment with the musical elements and retaining enough structure to still keep it harmonious. By organizing our music into distinct genres, we built the musical structure around defining characteristics of each genre.

Electric guitar and bass instrumentation

Straight rock rhythm for percussion

Pentatonic scale for melody

Power chord harmonies

Piano and acoustic guitar instrumentation

Shuffle rhythm for chords and percussion

Blues scale for melody

Dominant seventh chord harmonies

Upright bass and saxophone instrumentation

Charleston rhythm and walking bassline

Whole-note scale for melody

Extended chord harmonies

Wah guitar, horns, and djembe instrumentation

Ska rhythm on 2 & 4 for chords

Pentatonic scale for melody

Triad chord harmonies

THE KODA TEAM

Visual designers, industrial designers, developers, musicians, and leaders. Meet the people behind the Koda experience.

BEN BOOZER

Development Lead

BRYAN FIELD

Developer

KYLE SHETH

Physical Lead, Design Engineer

JOSH NORDEEN

Lead Designer, Composer

JON BRENNAN

Project Manager, Technologist

DREW HANSEN

Digital Lead, Motion Artist

COLE DUBORD

Designer, Draftsman

PHOENIX WALTER

Designer

MIN CHI

Designer

SPECIAL THANKS

We would like to thank our sponsors for their generous donations of supplies and funding, which all helped make Koda possible.

DR. BILL DESTLER DR. JEREMEY HAEFNER

We would also like to thank everyone who contributed their time, talents and ideas to help us realize our vision.

  • ADAM SMITH
  • DR. CHRISTOPHER AZZARA
  • JOE PIETRUCH
  • JON BARBER
  • LAUREN COMES
  • NANCY DOUBLEDAY
  • MIGUEL CARDONA
  • KIM SHERMAN
  • CLAIRE BRITT
  • MALIKA BUTLER