Project4 – Headphones Designed for a Specific Context_Final

Wind Helmetphone

The objective of this project is to make a helmet to hear the wind sound in the Midwest. Ames is such a place that has strong wind especially in spring. Midwest topography allows warm temperature and cold temperature to meet at the center of the area and make the temperature fluctuation, which causes tornados. Thanks to the topographical feature, Ames has strong wind.  Our ears can hear only sound from the sides. Winds blow from everywhere and I wanted to funnel it into the helmet by using the straw shaped tubes and pipes on the helmet.

Tubes and pipes of different shapes make different sound and curved shapes make mysterious sounds. The sound comes through the tubes and pipes and it  made a harmonious sound. The inside of the helmet has a space, in which sound can spread out. Also the fabric ends of the helmet hanging near the ears help trap air that hinders hearing the sounds inside of the helmet. 


Funneling wind sounds from the outside was not easy work. I had to try several methods to make a clear sound. The sounds were not clear as I could hear from my ears and a lot of bothering sounds came along with it. I had to use a small microphone to record the sounds. Also to avoid recording the other sounds such as people, cars, other materials' sounds, I recorded wind sounds alone and added it when editing the movie. I think more then six recordings were attempted to get clearer sounds. Searching for the places where strong winds blow was the other challenge of the project. Between buildings was the perfect place I could record sounds. 


A lot of time was spent to penetrate holes in the helmet. However, it was an interesting activity because I could use several different materials for the decoration of helmet, thinking of the directions where wind sounds would come with ease. To provide a more natural feel, I used lace rolled on the pipes. Once I thought about using colors on the helmet and pipes; however, I decided to make it with a more natural feel.