2014 - 2015, Brussels
Physical activity in the public space
SCHOOL LA CAMBRE
As part of my graduation project, I spent a year studying physical
activity, public spaces, and the relationships we have
with the same.
Design Research & Strategy,
OBSERVATION & ORIENTATION
Change urban behaviors
Our society is more and more urban, sedentary, tertiary but also hyperactive and virtual. Physical maintenance has then become a real need, a medical recommendation, nearly a credo and for sure a business.
I lived one year in Hong Kong and was amazed by the relation Asian people have to their body and the public space. I came back and wondered how we couldadapt this kind of practice to European lifestyle and mind.
Maintenance or performance?
Batman's muscles evolution reflects well the main physical activity trend that is mostly performance and physical improvement-centered. Due to new technologies and ideologies, competition, records, challenges tend to be pervasive.
But simple physical maintenance exercises (Proprioception, stretching and articular maintenance) are little practiced and popular except in the physiotherapist's office. The project aims to awake this type of physical maintenance consciousness among citizens.
Another fitness trail?
Street sports practitioners (Street workout, Tai chi, Running) don't need anything else than the city itself to keep fit. A floor sign, an app or a video can induce physical exercises. While public fitness devices are often bulky, isolated from the daily walk-through and induce repetitive motions. Do we really need another fitness public device?
Is virtual sport only about statistics?
In the opposite of fitness trails, virtuality enables millions of exercises, a gain of space and a powerful adaptability to every user. Sport quantified-self devices are increasingly used and really representative of our competitive, rational and individualistic society. The project aims at finding a virtual alternative to this statistics trend.
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Let's reinvent urban lights and pedestrian mobility
Most of city lights are conceived to manage car and pedestrian streams in a conventional approach. Our urban way of walking is also pretty rectilinear and conventional. While we could use light interaction to deviate citizens from their daily routes.
A city light that cares for pedestrians
The light of moonwalk offers a different way to move into the city. It suggests physical exercises integrated into citizens' daily routes. Users can turn the light on with a smartphone. Rules are simple. Walk on the dots (Cardio). If it's a circle, don't touch it (Balance). If it's a moving silhouette, move in the same way (Flexibility).
Via the application, users can always change parameters (intensity, body part, exercise type...) and receive bespoke exercises to their needs, wants and profile.
Rather focused on physical maintenance than improvement, the Moon Walk exercises suggest another way to envision physical activity. No levels, no numbers, no comparison, no statistics, no competition. Just an unobtrusive light to deviate our daily paths.
MEETINGS & COLLABORATIONS
Learn urban integration
with urban planners
I presented my work in progress to 2 urban planners and ask their opinion and advice. I had started to draw objects to integrate into daily paths, but after having studied urban legislation and spoken about urban philosophy, I realized it was too intrusive and bulky. That's why I chose to integrate a discrete light that does not denature spaces too much.
Design a healthy program
with a physiotherapist
I interviewed a fitness teacher and 2 physiotherapists.
I subscribed to one of the physiotherapist's stretching and proprioception lessons. After 5 months of lessons and discussions, we elaborated a healthy program to integrate into the city.
Design a new motion
with a dancer
I gave the defined program to 2 dancers and ask them to interpret it differently. I wanted to create a new kind of physical activity, mixing pedestrian mobility, physical exercises and "less
efficient" motions inspired by dance. The result could be improved more, though.
Design virtual motion
with a motion designer
I designed the first animation movies on my own, but as it started to be more complex, I wanted to collaborate with an expert and learn from his experience and opinion.
Design the light
with a lighting engineer
I met a light engineer to make sure the project was possible. We discussed different light possibilities (type, colors, energy, installation, etc.) and he advised me the best video projector to use. I then drew a composite drawing, just to show how it could be easily integrated into the city.
Design the visual experience
with a graphic designer
I've also been strongly advised and influenced by a graphic designer. I first started by rethinking physical exercise instruction manual from fitness trails. The project finally became an instructional app, then a light and he helped me to develop a coherent visual experience.