Valentin Loschinin

Beatballs

Engineering, coding, carpentry and design

A one week project involving 54 students from Hyper Island — a freak machine that turns music into taste and produces Swedish meatballs with flavors of your favorite music.

Beatballs video
Beatballs video
My Role

Engineer, Industrial designer

School

Hyper Island, Stockholm

Client

Tomas Mazetti

Release date

September 2014

Link

beatballs.net

Task

“Use the entire class of 54 interactive art directors to create something, anything, in two weeks to go viral.”

Tomas Mazetti, Founder of Total Studio
Tomas Mazetti

Founder of Total Studio

Concept

The idea generating process consisted of several iterations where the whole class was separated into 10 groups to ideate and then present their ideas to the rest of the teams. Exhaustive debates of the potential ideas were held, and they were evaluated using two main values related to the task — virality and originality.

From almost 20 good ideas we chose one relationship — food and music. This relationship has endured the passage of time across many cultures. They are historical complements and partners, from the kitchen to the dining room. Through a combination of programming, design, and a legal amount of madness, we developed code that converts music into taste. For the first time in history anyone could find out how ”Gangnam Style”, ”Bohemian Rhapsody” and ”Beat It” taste.

Beatballs Teaser
Beatballs Teaser
Photo session Make up

Behind the scenes of shooting a teaser

The Machine

I was working in the group which was responsible for creating a freak machine out of junk materials and some leftovers. It was designed from scratch starting with sketches and involved creating engineering components to make every part of the machine move as we wanted.

At the core of the Beatballs there is software that analyses sounds with the help of The Echo Nest algorithms and translates the results into different flavours. It basically makes meatball recipes out of music. Then the machine, powered by two Arduinos, mixed certain amounts of ingredients and cooked a meatball out of them. Voilà a tasty meatball!

Beatball machine Blueprint Arduino Coding Prototyping

A creation of the freak machine

Team Dynamics

It was really hard to work in such a big group. At the beginning even the smallest and trivial discussions switched into irrelevant and energy-draining conversations. We spent almost half of the week looking for the right aproach and tools to use in order to come to a consensus.

At some point we decided to split up into several subgroups, each of which worked on a particular part of the project. There were representatives from each department who had their own meetings where they shared statuses and information between subgroups.

As a wrap up each group created an energy diagram of the project and shared their reflections on the process with each other.

Team debates Wrap up

Creative team

Press

The project hosted over 10 000 unique visitors within two weeks and about 5000 unique recipes were generated during that time. A week after the launch, the Beatballs was aired on BBC Radio, mentioned in several media outlets such as Engadget, Resumé, PSFK, The Creators Project and Brainstorm9. We received a huge wave of mentions on Twitter from well-known people and meatball lovers around the world.

English

BBC Business Matters

BBC World Service. October 14, 2014

Presenting Your Favorite Songs in Meatball Form

PSFK. September 5, 2014

Tasting Music, With a Side of Meatballs

Hackaday. September 6, 2014

Taste Your Favorite Songs By Turning Them Into Delicious Meatballs

The Creators Project. September 8, 2014

Musical Meatball Machines / "Taste Music"

Trendhunter. September 11, 2014

Beatballs: How Does Your Favorite Song Taste?

OZY. September 24, 2014

Good Shit Of The Week

W+K Amsterdam. October 3, 2014

Musical Food: Multi-Sensory Meatballs & Mixology

WGSN. October 2, 2014

Beatballs — Meatball Recipes Inspired by Music

FinalCult. September, 2014

Taste Your Favorite Music By Turning It Into Delicious Meatballs

Smash. September 8, 2014

Nordic

Appen Beatballs ska göra köttbullar av musik

Resumés. September 3, 2014

Köttbullsrecept efter musik — Beatballs fixar biffen

Tjock. September 4, 2014

Studenter förvandlar musik till köttbullar

99mac. September 5, 2014

Şarkı İsimlerini Köfteyle Değiştir/ Beatballs

Yemek. September 10, 2014

De 8 musik/teknik-nyheterna som borde ha vunnit på MTV Digital Awards

Nöjesguiden. September 16, 2014

Beatballs.net

A Swedish Fruit Salad. September 3, 2014

De Stoopjes Zijn Een Stelletje Gehaktballen

Retecool. September 10, 2014

Müzik Tadımı — Beatballs

Nordik Simit. December 11, 2014

Others

Beatballs / Musik zum Runterwürgen

Engadget Deutschland. September 15, 2014

Are you ready for Beatballs? Spaghetti! - Schwedische Seite macht Hack aus dem Track

Das Filter. September 8, 2014

Beatballs transforma músicas em receitas personalizadas de almôndegas

Brainstorm9. September 9, 2014

¿A qué saben tus canciones preferidas? Recetas hechas de beats

LifeBoxSet. September 5, 2014

音楽の嗜好にもとづいてミートボールを製作するプロジェクトBeatballs

K'conf. September 6, 2014

音楽でミートボールを作り出す⁉ 曲に見合ったレシピを明示して料理するマシーンだってさ

Pouch. September 22, 2014

Şarkı İsimlerini Köfteyle Değiştir/ Beatballs

Yemek. September 10, 2014

איך מבשלים את הלהיט האחרון של קולדפליי?

Essence of Life. October 28, 2014014