This wall module "SonicMoiré" is designed to be compatible with wikihouses, we intend to use it as a part of the facade.
Its prior purpose was to filter certain frequences out of the noise spectrum and therefore reduce noise exposure within the room or lessen the sound that you hear outside of it. The effects would be best if your whole wall is made of such modules (and also your room would look totally fancy :) ).

This project was part of Multimodal Media Madness 2014, hosted by the
chair for Computer Aided Architectural Design (CAAD) and the Media Computing Group of RWTH Aachen University. For more Smart Skins, please check this page: http://hci.rwth-aachen.de/m3_ss14

The module consists of a frame (if you happen to have a wiki house you can build it into that instead) with two perforated plates on the front end of which one can be shifted against the other one. The different formations the holes build when shifted are supposed to filter certain frequences out of the noise spectrum. This is called Moiré effect, the idea is based on Helmholtz absorbers (perforated plate transducers).

We added some backlight for visual effects. The module looks really hypnotic ;)

This is a bit more work than just a weekend project but we are giving you the software we wrote so you save some time. If you like to make this an even bigger project you can still write your own software.


Wood for frame (1.8 cm wide)

Wood for 2 perforated plates & back plate (2mm)

Finnboard (wood pulp board/cardboard to attach the LEDs to, 2mm, material for lasercutters/models. alternative: thin wood)

Rest piece of wood to cut into 7 little dices (2 x 2 x 1.9 cm)

Arduino Uno

Arduino SpectrumShield-v14 (Sparkfun)

Slim microphone (jack)

Rasberry Pi B

Micro USB <-> USB cable

Cables to connect the electronics

470 Ohm resistor


9 RGB LEDs WS2812 (or other LEDs that support the Adafruit NeoPixel library we used)

Cables & males to solder the LEDs to (in case you do not use a premade LED strip)

Ultrasonic distance sensor HC-SR04


Small screwable hooks & loops

Household rubber bands

Some thin & quite strong string (yarn will do)

2 Servos Hitech HS 311 (or another model depending on the weight of your wood plate, ours is < 400g)

Matt foil or paper (about 50 x 50 cm)

Paint (we choose black for more contrast)

Tape & liquid glue

DC power supply (6-12 V, 2 A)

In case you go with a 12 V power supply you need a voltage converter to 6 V for the LEDs, servos and sensors.


Shaper (or some alternative)

Lasercutter (or some alternative)

Screwdriver & cordless screwdriver


Soldering iron & accessories (not necessary if you have ready-to-use LED strips)

Step 1: The Frame

In case you do not have a (wiki) house to built in the module yet, like us, or want to build it just for fun & looks, use a frame to build the module into.

We use a frame that you can just plug together and take apart again while nothing is attached yet to make it easier to carry it around. Therefore cut parts with the following measures (using a shaper or whatever you have, look at our pictures for more orientation):

2 x Top/Bottom plate: 28 x 52.5 cm with additions of 15.5 x 5 cm in the middle of the sides minus 3 x 3 cm holes in the middle of the additions 2 cm from the end.

2 x Side plate: 28 x 66.5 cm with holes of 1.9 x 15.5 cm at the ends which are 5 cm from the edges.

4 x U parts with one long side of 10 cm and two sides of 8 cm that are 3 cm wide. For simplicity they do not actually be formed like a U but can have corners.

Plug the parts together with the parts with the long holes at the sides, the other parts as bottom & top and the small U parts to keep them together. The U parts can plug together two of these frames in case you want to expand. In case you are totally sure you want only one module you can of course modify them ;)

Everything fits? Continue!

Note: "right" and "left" in the describtion will now refer to the right and left side of the frame as shown in the picture (seen from the backside of the module as the perforated plates are the front end).

nice work..
owww! cool, i will try to do this, nice joob.

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