Transfixed by matter – Sports equipment for disobedient bodies
With this project, I wish to question the processes of designing for normative, active bodies and create opportunities for more inclusive and democratic sports, aiming to render and re-engineer sports equipment as we know them.
The design thesis has been developed based on research and experiences of exclusion regarding accessible equipment for Parasports. From a norm-critical standpoint, my collaborator Ebba and I have therefore developed a new Paralympic seat and back support for the sport of rowing. As a norm-creative innovation, its design addresses the particularities of the individual body and its specific needs.
The project investigates the combination of co-creation, craft and norm-creative methods as a pragmatic and alternative approach to sports equipment. By 3D scanning Ebba’s body, digital and physical iterations were in combination with manual crafts, principles of the making. The result shows great potential as the equipment are fully functional, it consists of a sandwich construction with a (Nomex) core and layers of high modulus carbon fiber. The back support is adjustable in four axis points.
I state that if we want to engage in sustainable sports equipment, the notions of co-creation, norm-criticality and crafts have good potential in formulating inclusive and accessible outcomes that are both desirable, valuable and satisfying for people with disobedient bodies.