For my last year in my masters program (HCID) we have to complete a 1 year long capstone (thesis) project. In thinking about what I might want to design, I’ve come up with the following problem space:
Local music in a digital age
When I was growing up, I was very much into local music. Back then the internet was still pretty slow but people were getting some music digitally. At the time I was doing concert photography for many local bands. I would show up at venues and photograph all day some times. This really put me deep inside the local music scene in Indianapolis. I knew most of the band members, I was friends with the sound guys, the venue owners, promoters, etc. Most people knew who I was. While part of this community I was exposed to tons of new music, both local and non-local. It was a really great experience for me.
Then digital music exploded. Piracy of music became normal and iTunes changed the music distribution system. In no small way there was a huge paradigm shift of how people consumed music. Many great things came from this. Now we can listen to music from all around the world, we have access to more music than ever, and we have this access almost all the time. However, I think something was lost in local music scenes. There was a stronger community before the digital explosion, but it shrunk or disappeared almost completely.
I think there can be a melding of the two worlds. I want to look at ways to bring local music (the community, scene, etc) into the digital age. A way for people to participate in local music scenes, listen to local music, enjoy the culture of local music, share local music, and find new local (and non-local) music.
So, over the next 9 months I will be working within this problem space. Keep an eye out on my blog for more updates as they come out. And as always, I welcome comments and critiques of any of my posts and designs.