What does a musician have to do with fashion brands like Intimissimi, Calzedonia and Elle Decor? The common thread here is in interactive design.
We met up with Musician and Creative Designer, Dario Marturano, to find out more about these interactive projects and the connection they all have with music and new technologies.
Hi Dario, you’re working on interactive installations, music projects using new and immersive technologies. How would you introduce yourself to the public?
Since I was young I was attracted by science, technology and music. I’ve started this experience studying computer science and sound engineering and in the last 6-7 years, I learned how to use technology like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, etc., in order to create interactive and immersive projects.
A few of your recent projects include clients such as Intimissimi, Elle Decor and Calzedonia. How did you end up creating installations for these brands and how demanding were these projects?
I mainly find jobs by word of mouth: essentially people tell other people that I do nice and innovative things. For the last 3 years, I’ve worked during the Milan Design Week for an Elle Decor installation with an agency called AKQA.
We usually start working for the project at least one month and a half before the opening. For Calzedonia and Intimissimi (they are the same company) I usually help with social media activities, but this year it was the first time I made an interactive “fashion gallery” showing the fall/winter collection.
Can you briefly walk us through these projects’ concept and technical parts?
Every installation has a theme, for example, last Elle Decor exhibition was about media activities house. I usually work with art directors and project managers to understand what is possible to do, but my favourite approach is starting from the last recent technologies and think how to use them for our purposes.
For these installations, you used immersive technologies and Bare Conductive was among them. What’s your experience of using our tools? How do you assess their contribution to the projects’ context?
I bought my first Bare Conductive Electric Paint at Maker Faire Rome in 2013, and I supported the Touch Board when it was first launched on Kickstarter. I used to use Arduino and MPR121 for tactile projects, but when the Touch Board was released it saved me a lot of time. I use it with conductive objects or Electric Paint to trigger mapped videos, lights and sound. Moreover, I love to “solder” with Electric Paint because there are situations that there’s no power near the project I’m building.
As a musician who’s also working as a designer, how do you think technology and IoT affect these two areas?
From my experience the most recent technology and IoT tools and applications allow makers and musicians to create new experiences easily and with a minimum cost. For example, I’ve created a midi controller using an induction hob in a few days and for my musical project “Holograph” I’m able to control a light installation with Arduino without having expensive and bulky light consoles.
What challenges did you encounter working with the Touch Board and Electric Paint?
Sometimes during the exhibition customers can’t understand how to operate with an interactive wall because it’s something new and not so common to see. It’s very funny to see the wonder in their faces when by touching a painted drawing, a sound or image come to life through projection.
How important is it to capture the public’s attention and imagination with an interactive project? How do you show them the importance of technology in art, design, music?
It’s very important to capture the public’s attention with an interactive project because it’s what they take home. An interactive experience is more memorable than a passive one. Sometimes both the creative and development process should be shown, so the audience can see and understand how technology and art work together for the optimum result.
What kind of music do you listen to at the moment?
I love listening to electronic music, especially electro, future bass, house and indie Italian music, this is a great season for that.
Images & Video: Dario Marturano
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