Interview with Roberto Maurizio Paura at Sunday 8th of May 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
RP : It all happened meanwhile watching “Big Bang Theory” series, an episode where main characters let a mixture of water and corn flour dance and shake on a plastic film applied to a subwoofer. When facing surface deformation as a topic, I suddenly realized I should have applied non-Newtonian fluidodynamics principle with a more comprehensive approach.
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
RP : BlobHertz aims at stopping time in a song's music fragment, to allow every person to literaly puts his hands on the sound itself.
DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
RP : This award will definetely spread out my project all over the world. My aim is at partnering with majors companies willing to add my fully customizable product into their catalog.
DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
RP : It took several months to complete BlobHertz, due to experiments, tests, revisions to fluid mixture, 3D handcrafting, as well as prototypes with CNC cutter.
DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
RP : BlobHertz is an academic project developed during the “Shape Theory” class held by Prof. Massimo Ciafrei at ISIA of Rome.
DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
RP : I would be more than glad to sell this product concept to companies willing to launch BlobHertz as a luxury and interior design product.
DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
RP : I grew up surrounded by music, people playing music around me, and I myself played different music instruments. Such a background seldom influences my design concept towards music topics. As for BlobHertz, I've always been excited by enabling a subwoofer to give tangibility to sounds, through its mechanic vibrations, as if a sound was a form of matter.
DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
RP : Part of my work has been supervised by Prof. Massimo Ciafrei, as well as Prof. Lorena Luzzi for what concerns prototying, and Prof. Enzo Agnello for photo shooting.
DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
RP : Main end customer is people fond of music, willing to personalize their houses's interior design with such a unique product.
DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
RP : Actually BlobHertz born as a unique and standalone product, and I've always tried not to be influenced by any other project.
DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
RP : BlobHertz acronym merges two neat concepts: “blob” refers to semi-liquid aspect of Non-Newtonian fluids, meanwhile “Hertz” represents frequency unit that characterizes every wave and in particular music sounds.
DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
RP : At preliminary stage I used water and corn flour to mix up the fluid. Then I started to get in touch with the fluid behaviour when excited with different subwoofer frequencies. Captured phots were the input for rendering a 3d model realistic enough to real shapes of the liquid. After a brief post processing with Rhinoceros, a small chalk block has been molded with a CNC cutter.
DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
RP : The main peculiarity of BlobHertz is to implement a very simple behaviour with very interesting and novel results. The fact that we can change material enables many different applications and outputs.
DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
RP : Experimental activities have been jointly conducted with my friend Giuliano Casu, whom devoted to material supplying and space allocation for testing.
DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
RP : BlobHertz exploits a physics principle: a Non-Newtonian fluid (aka amorphous fluid) is a liquid whose viscosity changes according to the strength of the applied shear stress. In this casa, shear stress is produced by subwoofer's vibrations. Using a CNC cutter allowed me to realize a protype which should have been almost impossible otherwise.
DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
RP : I enrolled this internal competition to challenge myself with such a wide designer community and to increase my project's visibility.
DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
RP : BlobHertz allowed me to learn how to realize and put in practice very theoretical principles through design.