Body Aware Makerthon: A better body experience

Due to urbanisation, our everyday life has gradually been mechanised. We are surrounded by technology that makes our work lives more connected and efficient. But there is a catch – our modern lifestyle seems to have disconnected us from reality, from our corporal awareness. At the Body Awareness Makerthon – facilitated by Future Living Lab Space10 and IKEA – a group of two digital experts and a movement specialist looked for ways to help restore the balance. They explored how agents can cultivate awareness without creating a dependency on them.

“The key idea was to imagine our built environment behaving like the natural one – in constant flux – and how that could apply to a place of work,” says Tommaso Lanza, half of ‘The Workers’ – an award-winning design duo known especially for their After Dark project, which involved robots roaming the galleries of the Tate Britain at night. His partner Ross Cairns adds, ”Mindfulness, both as a tool and a principle, complements our time spent staring at screens and being at the mercy of the next notification. With this project, we were playing with the idea of how the screen, the mind and the body can all be present together more often.”

Along with movement specialist and choreographer Adam Rae, they came up with an open-ended illustration in the form of three sets of physical mock-ups to represent various ‘agents’ – manufactured stimuli from a constantly-changing designed environment.  “If our desks were able to imperceptibly self-adjust their height over the course of a day or a week, eventually we would take notice and adapt our posture or the seat, and be required to stand or grab a stool,” Rae states.

The key idea was to imagine our built environment behaving like the natural one – in constant flux – and how that could apply to a place of work

Today we are enveloped by the Internet. Everywhere we move, it feeds our “always-online” state. We use our smart phones at the bus stop, on the bus, and as we walk along the pavement. “We take our laptops from the kitchen table to the sofa to the bed. Who’s to say that’s bad, or that it’s more unnatural than before? The screen and Internet has the allure of both ‘down time’ and ‘busy time’, all at the same time,” Ross Cairns concludes. So they began to explore how to increase the feeling of being present without creating annoyance or disturbance – an environment where it is easier to stay mindful and aware of one’s body and surroundings, an environment that is fluid and changing. 

Presentation of the Body Awareness Makerthon

In October 2015, a group of twelve international talents from different fields such as art, interaction design, spirituality and technology met in Copenhagen for a three-day Body Awareness Makerthon.

The purpose of the Makerthon – facilitated by Future Living Lab Space10 and IKEA – was to explore future urban scenarios and to co-create design for enhanced body awareness in order to improve mental, emotional and physical health.

SPACE10
Flæsketorvet 10
1711 Copenhagen V
Denmark