Muto Come Un Pesce - An Interactive Project That Raises Awareness About Marine Life

Muto Come Un Pesce - An Interactive Project That Raises Awareness About Marine Life

The project "Muto come un pesce" (Mute as a fish) is an interactive installation designed by visual designers, Nicola Masi and Elisa Mearelli.

The "Muto come un pesce" is an interactive educational project which brings importance to the environmental protection of marine life.


The installation is made up of a smart table and infographics, which explain to viewers how and why fish produce sounds.

They produce different types of noises, using different mechanisms, for a variety of reasons. They produce sounds as warning signals to predators or competitors, to attract mates, or as a fright response.

Nicola and Elisa designed the project using the Touch Board and conductive paint. They created this interactive table where children's curiosities are stimulated through drawings of cetaceans, fish and shellfish, as well as the sounds used to communicate.

This is a sensory experience that wants to draw the attention of adults and children to marine life, its environmental complexity and its delicate balance, which is increasingly endangered by man-made sonar noise pollution, the extraction of fossil fuels, boats and military experiments.

Those actions create major problems that put the marine species in danger, increasing cetacean stranding all around the world.

As visual designers accustomed to using new media and technologies to communicate messages and concepts, Nicola and Elisa found the Touch Board an easy and effective way to increase public involvement through the interactivity in its sensing technology.

The table incorporates conductive paint and the Touch Board to introduce fish sounds into the installation. The sea animals on the table are part of the Adriatic Sea marine life, they are hand-drawn and coloured by traditional water-based paint on the front, and by Electric Paint on the back.

Each illustrated element is connected to the Touch Board via wires. Therefore, each sea animal turns into a capacitive sensor and makes its corresponding sound when touched; their underwater sounds come from marine biology studies and research.

At the centre of the table, there is a papercraft lighthouse that hides the board. It produces sound and light which is activated when the rock near it is touched.