Defining Values / Exploring Alternative Interactions / A Farewell to Summer

As this summer is coming to an end, a new academic year begins which also happens to be my fourth and final year as a Digital Interaction Design student at the University of Dundee. Summer 2016 treated me well. It mainly consisted of travelling around Spain, watching the Olympics, touring the Greek islands and thinking. The question that bothered me all throughout the season was:

What should I make for my 4th-year project?

I guess the last 4 months have been very critical as I was exploring different ideas of what I wanted to make. That's when my design values kicked in and helped me answer this question. I knew what I didn't want to make. And that was another mobile app. I can't help but feel that as a society we have embraced screens in literally every aspect of our lives - the workplace, the kitchen, the bedroom and the bathroom. There is something about walking into a room full of people who are interacting with their phones and not with each other, that bothers me. The other day, I walked into the kitchen only to find all three of my flatmates consumed by their smartphones. It was funny and really sad at the same time. So I decided that for my final year project, I didn't want to be the kind of designer who aims to capture some more of people's eyeball time.

One of my greatest passions is exercising. I have been fencing since I was 10 years old, I weight-lift and jog regularly. So one summer day I was doing a fat burn class in Pure Gym when it hit me! I should create something for the gym!

The Idea

Create a product for interval training aimed for either personal or group training use, where the main element would be an interactive mat to guide the user on how to perform the exercise.

This is the general idea and I am still at the early stages of my process. I have a lot to do the next few months and I am starting with research! The next few weeks I will be conducting contextual interviews with Personal Trainers, class instructors from the ISE and Pure Gym Dundee, avid fans of exercising, observing their environment and taking part in classes.

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