Redesigning the Chowndolo: a Reflection-on-action Analysis to Identify Sustainable Strategies for NIMEs Design

Nicolo Merendino, Giacomo Lepri, Antonio Rodà, and Raul Masu

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

  • Year: 2023
  • Location: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Track: Papers
  • Pages: 191–199
  • Article Number: 27
  • PDF link

Abstract:

The sustainability of Digital Musical Instruments (DMIs) is a crucial concern within the NIME community, not only in the design of the instruments but also in terms of sustaining the instrument over a prolonged period, promoting longevity, and minimizing obsolescence. The risk of designing advanced instruments becoming debris quickly is real if longevity is not actively considered. In this paper, we present the process of redesigning a crafted DMI to fit a small-scale production process while considering strategies that render the final design more sustainable and maximize the object's lifespan. We present the results of a critical analysis of this process through a sustainability lens. From this analysis, we distilled a number of reflections that could help similar design processes or NIME crafting activities. The most innovative reflections are related to inscribing sustainability into the practice of using the instruments. From this perspective, we suggest considering the future user as a designer capable of fixing, adjusting, redesigning, or hacking the DMI and actively provide possible solutions that can significantly extend the lifespan of a DMI and, consequently, its sustainability.

Citation:

Nicolo Merendino, Giacomo Lepri, Antonio Rodà, and Raul Masu. 2023. Redesigning the Chowndolo: a Reflection-on-action Analysis to Identify Sustainable Strategies for NIMEs Design. Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. DOI:

BibTeX Entry:

  @article{nime2023_27,
 abstract = {The sustainability of Digital Musical Instruments (DMIs) is a crucial concern within the NIME community, not only in the design of the instruments but also in terms of sustaining the instrument over a prolonged period, promoting longevity, and minimizing obsolescence. The risk of designing advanced instruments becoming debris quickly is real if longevity is not actively considered. In this paper, we present the process of redesigning a crafted DMI to fit a small-scale production process while considering strategies that render the final design more sustainable and maximize the object's lifespan. We present the results of a critical analysis of this process through a sustainability lens. From this analysis, we distilled a number of reflections that could help similar design processes or NIME crafting activities. The most innovative reflections are related to inscribing sustainability into the practice of using the instruments. From this perspective, we suggest considering the future user as a designer capable of fixing, adjusting, redesigning, or hacking the DMI and actively provide possible solutions that can significantly extend the lifespan of a DMI and, consequently, its sustainability.},
 address = {Mexico City, Mexico},
 articleno = {27},
 author = {Nicolo Merendino and Giacomo Lepri and Antonio Rodà and Raul Masu},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression},
 editor = {Miguel Ortiz and Adnan Marquez-Borbon},
 issn = {2220-4806},
 month = {May},
 numpages = {9},
 pages = {191--199},
 title = {Redesigning the Chowndolo: a Reflection-on-action Analysis to Identify Sustainable Strategies for NIMEs Design},
 track = {Papers},
 url = {http://nime.org/proceedings/2023/nime2023_27.pdf},
 year = {2023}
}