Yuri Suzuki, Mark McKeague, Joseph Pleass, Naomi Elliott. Ototo. 2013

Concept and initial design by Yuri Suzuki, Mark McKeague, Joseph Pleass, Illustration by Naomi Elliott Ototo 2013

  • Not on view

Ototo is an experimental synthesizer that enables any object to become a musical instrument through capacitive sensing. Capacitance (measured in farads, after the nineteenth-century English physicist Michael Faraday) is the potential for a body or object to store an electrical charge. The Ototo measures the latent capacitance of objects it is connected to, and when these objects are touched the energy in the player’s body is joined with that in the object to produce a note. Designer Yuri Suzuki is also responsible for the Colour Chaser, a miniature robotic vehicle that follows a circuit drawn with a black marker and translates color data drawn on top of it into sound. Suzuki has described how his own dyslexia spurred him to reinterpret the processes of composing, reading, and playing music.

Gallery label from This Is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good, February 14, 2015–January 31, 2016
Design firm
Development and design by Dentaku Ltd.
Printed circuit board with electronic components
4 1/2 x 2 15/16 x 3/8" (11.5 x 7.5 x 1 cm)
Gift of the designers
Object number
Architecture and Design