Our Body as an Expressive Tool

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Abstract

Humans were made to move. Many hours in front of a screen leads to stiff bodies and a diminished bodily awareness. The aim of this project was to explore how technology can serve to increase our body awareness and adapt to our physical conditions in everyday life with focus on office spaces. The study is explorative with a focus on embodied prototyping and tactile feedback, where the user is a subject of design.

Inspiration and Method

I have in this project put focus on how people around me perceive their bodies, their experience of inhabiting their body and their expression of it. Most of all I have placed an emphasis on what mindset people have, when interacting with the world with energy and spontaneity involving physical expressions and emotions. The research has been done in collaboration with a dancer, a dance therapist, seniors in amateur theater a theater pedagogue and her theater group. By collaborating with these 'bodily experts' I wanted to capture the passion and involvement for moving in a body. To transfer these habits and knowledge onto anyone in our daily life. Prototyping involving mine and other's body, movements and senses has run parallel throughout the whole project together with user testing and iterations.

Result

The final concept is a wearable that encourage people to move and stretch out more often and spontaneously throughout the day. It does so by vibration patterns along your spine and shoulders. The concept also takes in consideration phycological and social benefits of extended body postures. The system is thought to be self rewarding; if it feels good to stretch out, to extend the arms, to move – then you will want to do it again. The concept does not push, punish or judge. The concept is giving you a pleasant feedback in forms of a vibration patterns reflecting your movements and gentle bring your attention back into your body. How you decide to interpret these different patterns are up to you, there are no right times when to drink water or how to stand up. The vibrations are meant to inspire the wearer to inhabit their body in their unique way, to move it and to listen to it.