Archive for the ‘Electronics’ Category

Äänimuseo V

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

I finished the 5th version of the Äänimuseo project a couple of weeks ago. Here is a little demo video.

Video, jonka mnstri (@mnstri) julkaisi

Äänimuseo [Sound Museum] is a tangible sound player that I have been working on since 2011 in collaboration with the Rupriikki Media Museum and Tampere Museum Services. Each year we have created a slightly different version of the initial project. The various iterations of the device have been used by the City of Tampere as a service for the elderly. Äänimuseo is used in guided discussion sessions, where the participants can talk about their memories with the help of the sounds.

Kannettava äänimuseo, suunnittelija Matti Niinimäki/Månsteri. Mediamuseo Rupriikki 2016.

The device comes with a collection of 32 wooden discs. Each disc represents a sound that can be played by placing the disc on top of the device. In this version, the sounds are everyday sounds divided into three categories: home, office, and cottage.

Kannettava äänimuseo, suunnittelija Matti Niinimäki/Månsteri. Mediamuseo Rupriikki 2016.

The fifth version built in 2016 is an improved iteration of the 2015 model that is available for loan from the Tampere City Library home services department. It is based on the same idea of portability as the 2015 version, but is made from solid wood instead of plywood, which creates a more robust and warmer feel. Each of the wooden discs features a laser-etched illustration of the sound.

  • Materials: solid maple and birch plywood
  • Technology: a custom audio player with NFC reader
  • Dimensions: 250 mm x 250 mm x 60 mm

Additional credits:

  • Content curation and collaboration: Lila Heinola (Culture Education Unit TAITE) and Outi Penninkangas (Media Museum Rupriikki)
  • Illustrations for the wooden discs: Narim Lee
  • Photographs: Saana Säilynoja/Vapriikin kuva-arkisto

Artisan of the Year

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

The Craft Museum of Finland nominated me today as the Artisan of the Year. I’m very honoured by the nomination, and I feel that the museum was quite brave in selecting someone like me. Every year they nominate someone that they feel highlights modern artisanship or somehow approaches the idea from a fresh perspective, and this year they picked me.


Photo: Sami Perttilä

This thing came as a really big surprise to me, although artisanship or craftsmanship in the field of digital art, media art, and design is a topic I have been giving a lot of thought to recently. I’m writing a longer text on the subject soon and will publish it here. But for now I just wanted to say thank you!


My studio. Photo: Sami Perttilä

The museum gave me a little spot on their permanent exhibition to create something new. I took the opportunity to create a bigger and better version of the Oversized Electronics idea that I had been messing with before.


The breadboard you see above is a wooden, fully functional breadboard, built in 10:1 scale. The lit up little thing on the right is an actual breadboard. The object itself is behind a glass in the exhibition, but the brightness of the LEDs can be controlled with the potentiometers. I didn’t have time to take proper documentation of the project, but I’ll post some other pictures and videos once I go visit the place again.

You can go see it for yourself in the Craft Museum in Jyväskylä.

Minimal – The RFID Turntable

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Minimal is an RFID turntable designed as a tangible audio player interface for museums. This first version will be part of the Revontuli exhibition in Museum Centre Vapriikki that opens in June 2014.

Made out of laser cut acrylic.
Powered by Arduino.
More information soon.


Live Herring ’14 Exhibition in Jyväskylä

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Have you ever wondered what kind of pets would intelligent robots or androids keep? I have, so I made a pet store for robots. You can visit the store in the beautiful town of Jyväskylä at Galleria Ratamo

Here is a little sample of the creatures on display:

Live Herring ’14
23/1 – 2/3/2014
Galleria Ratamo
Veturitallinkatu 6
Jyväskylä, Finland

Oversized Electronics

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Here is the first step of a new project I’m working on.


I often teach electronics to people who have no previous experience and there are always the same problems. How do you explain how electricity works so that it’s understandable, but also so that you don’t simplify it too much? How to get the people to understand the way you need to connect different parts? How does the breadboard work?

I personally think that starting with schematics is not a good way. Especially when teaching people who are not very technically oriented. It’s important to eventually get to schematic symbols and understanding them, but it is challenging enough to get these tiny components in your hands and trying to get to know what they do without the level of abstraction that schematics bring. That is why I like to start with the actual components and real wires. And that is why I like to use Fritzing. I can draw a pretty clear picture of the circuit we are working on and show it to everyone without messing around with document cameras or similar setups.


Fritzing has its limitations also. It’s a 2d image and something more complicated than the picture above might get very messy and hard to read. Doing the same thing on a real breadboard is also not ideal since electronic components are very small and a dozen or so people trying to see what you are doing is not going to work so well.

So this got me thinking the other day: “What if I just make the breadboard much bigger?”

Laser Cut Breadboard

I fired up the laser cutter at Aalto Fablab and  this is what came out of it. It’s not actually working yet, but I’ll probably make the metal strips for it next week. I have some ideas how to do that, but I’ll need to revise the designs a bit more. And I’ll also make supersized versions of all basic components. Here are some quick tests that I cut at the same time as the board.


I haven’t actually used these yet in teaching, but I will the next time. I’m hoping that larger scale 3d version of the breadboard should clarify things.

I also have another use for this same idea, but more on that later.

Äänimuseo [Sound Museum]

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Äänimuseo [Sound Museum] is an interactive sound installation that was created for the Koukkuniemi Home for the Elderly in spring 2011. It is a tool that allows the people living in Koukkuniemi to reminisce and share their memories with the help of auditory and haptic cues.

All photographs on this page are by Antti Sompinmäki

There are different kinds of objects laid out on the table and each object has its corresponding sound. The sound starts playing when the object is placed on the elevated area in the middle of the table. More complex soundscapes can be created by placing multiple objects on the table at the same time. The objects and their sounds are divided into four different categories: Tampere, nature, work and leisure.

Video of the table on YLE Areena

More information about the project (in Finnish).

The team working on the project:

  • Production: Rupriikki Media Museum (as a part of the Kulttuurikaari project)
  • Producer & Designer: Niklas Nylund
  • Programming & Interaction Design: Matti Niinimäki
  • Sound Design: Mikko Koskinen
  • Models: Lauri Karskela

Månsteri Store Now Open

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Now you can get your daily Arduino and sensor fix from me, your friendly neighborhood pusher man!

Månsteri Store

Månsteri Store is a place where you can get Arduino boards in its many varieties, sensors, basic electronic components, prototyping tools and much much more for your interactive art projects. Currently, I have distribution agreements with Arduino and SparkFun, but there might be some others in the near future. I try to only stock items that I have personally used and found to be useful in my own projects, but feel free to send me an email if you would like to get some specific stuff that is not on the website.

I already thought about doing this back in 2007 when I first started messing with the Arduino. Back then there were no Finnish Arduino distributors around and not so many elsewhere in Europe either. I couldn’t do it then, but the idea was stuck in my head.

Fast forward to 2011 and suddenly I have the resources to do it, so I thought: “Why not? It’s not like I’m working part-time at the university, doing dozens of art and design projects and trying to finish my MA studies at the same time. I have plenty of time to run an online store!”

For those who don’t know me personally, that is exactly what I’m doing + trying to have an actual life on top of that. Sometimes my stupidity surprises me…

Anyway, it’s been fun for the first few days since the store opened and the feedback has been great. A big thank you to all those supporting me! So head over to and shop til your voltage drops.

Månsteri Store is also on Facebook.

Live Herring ’11 in Jyväskylä

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

This week in Jyväskylä:

Thu 10/03/2011, 4:30 PM – Artist Talk

I will do a small artist talk/Q&A session at The Jyväskylä Art Museum. I will also do a small performance using The Beat Blender and Made In Iron controllers.

Fri 11/3/2011, 6 PM – The Future Roots & VJ Månsteri

I will be VJing to the sounds of The Future Roots in The Jyväkylä Art Museum. The visuals will be based on the cover art made by Minja Revonkorpi & Rita Vargas.

Sat 12/3 & Sun 13/3 – Arduino Workshop

On saturday and sunday I will do an Introduction to Arduino workshop. I’ll try to post some pictures about that during the weekend All the places for the workshop are reserved already.

More info about the whole Live Herring ’11 event. Lots of exhibitions, gigs, artist talks etc. Check it out.

Kamalallallaa! – Mediamaja, Kouvola

Monday, March 7th, 2011

This exhibition is still running until thursday! Go see it if you are in Kouvola (who wouldn’t be there?).

More info:

Made in Iron 2

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Update on the Iron project. Not perfect but it’s starting to sound pretty decent. Listen through proper speakers or headphones to hear the full effect of the bass.