Bully Tunes is a tangible musical instrument designed to entice play, learning, and discovery in the form of cute squishy objects. The instrument consists of these creatures called Squishies. They make sounds when pressed and depending on the force/pressure of the press the squishies will make a different sound. With this, the user can make music in the form of light petting of the squishies.

This project was created for my Physical and Tangible HCI class with my partner Michael Hung and was done within two weeks. Our assignment was to consider tangible input in the form of a musical instrument. Michael and I brainstormed different designs on what we thought a musical instrument could be. From that, we selected the ones we thought had promise and the idea whack a mole was a fan favourite so we decided to pursue that route. Hence, Bully Tunes was born.

Once the gui for the musical instrument and the character design for the squishies was agreed upon, it was time for the creation of the squishies. Before we cut out any fabric, we needed to paper prototype the squishies to make sure that we had the correct shape for the fabric sections. We experimented with a circle shape with darts, and we experimented with triangle sections. The triangles showed more promise and so we agreed on that for the squishies.

The squishies were made out of fleece, stuffing, sponge and tons of love. And a little bit of blood. Sewing is not my forte, nor was it Michael’s, but we had fun with it. Each squishy needed to be bottomless so that we could temporary fix them to the cardboard base and modify the interaction as needed.


January 2017


Design | HCI