Catie Czajkowski

Musical Bench


The musical bench spreads joy as a traditional bench is brought to life through technology, sound, and human connection.

Technology has made it possible to interact with our physical environment in an entirely new way. Taking inspiration from the piano stairs project, I transformed an ordinary bench into an interactive experience. The bench integrates an arduino and copper armrests, allowing users to complete the circuit when they touch and cause musical notes to play. As the resistance and level of current flowing through the two people change, the musical tones change as well.


The Musical Bench

Two Day Passion Project Workshop at BDW // Experience Design & Prototype


We were asked to identify an aspect of technology that inspires us and brings us joy. Using that piece as a springboard, we were then asked to use everything we have learned about design thinking, user research, and rapid prototyping to create something new that would bring others joy.


My inspiration for this project came from the “Piano Staircase” built by The Fun Theory. The piano stairs aim to inspire people to take the stairs instead of the neighboring escalator by creating a fun, interactive experience. I was inspired by how this project increased users engagement with their environment and transformed and ordinary and dull moment into a fun, musical experience which brought smiles and joys to people passing by.

The Vision

Taking inspiration from the “Piano Staircase” project, I aimed to create an experience that transformed an ordinary object in the urban environment into an engaging, interactive experience with sound. Additionally, I wanted to inspire human connection. Through a process of research and ideation, I decided to transform an ordinary bench into an engaging experience. 


The Solution

The musical bench transforms an everyday, ordinary object into an engaging experience that spreads joy and inspires human connection. Future applications of the technology needed to bring the musical bench to live could be integrated into an endless possibility of objects.