Henry Wu & Yanika Tinaphongs / California College of the Arts
The Rooster is a fun hybrid softgood/hardgood product. We loved the complete package, from the product, to the presentation, to the branding.
Rooster is the wearable amplifier bag suitable for street performers seeking for sleek, comfortable touch of sound. The speaker could be flap opened or closed by coated nylon, depending on the user’s preference, and the bag strap is also the guitar strap as well. Opening from the top, user can organizedly store music sheets and cords in the provided sag. Though most of the parts are covered by fabric, the sides are exposed in wood along with aluminum tuning knobs, matching the modern aesthetic of the users. Feel free to expose your skills with a great Rooster amplifier.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The goal of the project is to provide the better performing experience of entertainment in the public space, making it captivating for both the performers as well as the audience. Most amplifiers which are portable come out bulky and heavy, porting them around is just like carrying a giant box along the street. Moreover, it means more numbers of bags in one trip. Rooster is just so compatible since it’s comfortably portable, audience can carry them on their shoulders, set them down, and play music wherever they can. As the carrying strap is also the guitar strap, the user could carry even less stuffs. In general Rooster fits with almost everywhere, but the best situation is in the public or outdoors, especially street in downtown. Since the fabric cover has an extra layer to cover the speakers from dust, and that layer opens as the place for tips, the street musical performers get the most advantage. However, it could also be in the park where groups of friends go for picnic and in the mood of performing in front of the members. The main obstacle of the product is the quality of sound in lightweight, we came up with wooden case inside and the wraparound coated nylon after iteration process. The hardwood structure has been compromise to work with the fabric as the fabric also went through series of iterations to wrap nicely along the edge. The final one captures most of the sound by two layers of materials.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
Performing in the public is not just about the skills, it is a good combination of the personalities, talents, appearances, and, surprisingly, props. The show is not impressive without a nice supporter. As much as we cared about how comfortable would it be to carry around, we never neglect the sound quality and the aesthetic of the whole. The size is small yet powerful, under thorough calculation Rooster can carry up to 5″ full-range speakers with three tuning options, the bass, gain, and volume. It is loud enough to grasp the attention of people walking by. Not only the sound quality, the aesthetic of the amplifier is superb. With the black coated nylon wrapping around the case, the user feels comfortable carrying it around. The red coated nylon was heat pressed under the layer, creating difference in colors. Along the side is exposed, showing the reddish brown wood matching with the color of the fabric. The tuning knobs are bead blasted aluminum, giving the look of modern classy feel. Together all in all, the quality and the aesthetics, all the performers has to do is to pull out their talents, and they will surely capture the moments of the crowd.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
We started out with the theme “wearable sound” since we are interested how people utilize the sound on everyday life. Not only music, but also everything that produces, captures, alters, or even reduces the sound interest us. As we did the field trip study by going out in the town and observed all types of users, the street performers strike us the most since they are so stand-out from the crowds. We observed some problems the users have while interacting with their equipments such as the amplifiers are too heavy that they need to carry them by carts or there are so many cords dangling around the space. The most important opportunity is the set-up time and space, the performers use 30 minutes to set up before they can start the show, and they wish they could just have something which easily plugged in with their guitar without haze. From that point, we formed a design process where bunch of sketches are posted on the wall and we filtered them down to one concept— making the performing moment captivating. We keep in mind that the aesthetics must meet the functions, that’s why the fabric and wood come in the parts. Though this is ambitious, but we rather have the best materials suitable for the functions. This amplifier could be just covered with the cardboard boxes, but because of the aesthetics and quality, wood would be better choice as it hold the sound inside and export it out forward. The coated nylon comes in part later as it adds the comfort to the users as well as adding the firm to the structures. Moreover, the fabric soften the damage from dropping or scratches. Formwise, we went back and forth to get feedbacks from our users, they did not mention anything about the shape but what we observed was the sound should be projecting slightly tilted upward from the ground because we want the sound to reach people’s ears, not legs. Therefore our design yields a tilted angle from the front position, for the best sound quality. Moreover, we noticed that there are åmany cords and cables involved on the stage, so we decide to use the remaining space as a storage for these as well as music sheets if they want to. After our design is set, we start to look around what market fits best with what we have. We know our target users are people who has passion in music and would like to express that in public space. As our design is meant to attract the attention, Rooster suits better for a performer who starts debuting their singles on the street and the price range should be totally affordable. CNCing the wood, sewing the coated nylon, and cast the aluminum, our production cost would be around $75 and $300 for retail price. The role model shops we aim for are on the shelf at Guitar Center or online store like www.monocase.com5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
Different people have different lifestyle, and every product in the world fits in either one of them. However, there are numbers of opportunities which we will never find out unless we take time to observe, learn, and expand those opportunities to the public. That’s the value of our product, we center Rooster for street performers, making their show captivating and draw something new to crowd, also bringing new aspects to the performers themselves as well. We want the performers to feel like this product is specially made for them, especially the ones who just started their shows, they need confidence in what they are doing. That’s why we chose wood and fabric as materials, and red color as the highlight. We hope our product can be more than just an amplifier, but also somet inspiration that pulls out the confidence, talents, and skills for proud performers. In the end, as Rooster compliments the performers, they will achieve a breathtaking show.