Given that combining music creation and exercise may improve motivation to exercise and lead to health benefits, the goal was to design music making devices for older exercisers. I observed and participated in several “Gold Club” fitness classes at the Dovercourt Recreation Centre. Common themes noticed were that many individuals had limitations with balance, flexibility, and range of motion. In addition, some could become easily lost in the steps of the exercise due to either unfamiliarity or missed timing. Thus, my focus on this project was on the balance aspect and creating a musical exercise device to address this issue.
We invited the older exercisers to work with us in co-designing our devices. They were enthusiastic about the concepts and contributed ideas that were suitable for them. These provided a foundation for designs, which evolved over the course of 8 months. Interestingly, by combining music-making with exercise equipment, the potential for new exercise routines also emerged.
As a result of all of this, I created a balancing exercise instrument to improve older adults’ balance for preventing fall injuries and placing an emphasis on music, synchronicity, creativty and social interaction. As the instructor and participants are on the board, the instructor chooses a song to be played on all of the boards. If the participants fail to mimic the actions performed by the instructor, the song being played sounds muffled and the board vibrates to give the user feedback that they are not staying in sync. This instrument makes fitness classes more enjoyable and adds variety to balance activities.
Many Thanks to: Dovercourt Community Centre and Gold Club Members; to Professor Jesse Stewart and Professor Adrian Chan; Pat Bierne; as well as David Popovich.
Co-design is a concept generation technique that aids the design process in many ways. This technique is beneficial because it brings the people who are using the product or service into the design process to create something they want. The designer is acting as a facilitator instead of guessing what people want. As a result, there is less room for misinterpretation and miscommunication. These concepts will be used as a stepping stone for the workshop to ensure that they move efficiently in the correct direction. This was divided into three sections: PRE CO-DESIGN, CO-DESIGN, and POST CO-DESIGN.
pre co-design concepts
post co-design concepts
concept cad exploration
"on-board" use cycle
"off-board" use cycle
This was a 1:1 scale prototype that was completed. All of the components, with the exception of the fitness foam on the pads, were 3D printed. The total time with printing surpassed 100 hours.