A new beach experience for users with limited mobility.
This is an individual project.
To imagine the future of beach play for any groups of people who love beaches.
Functional apparel design
-Santa Monica Original Muscle beach
The original muscle beach is a unique area within Santa Monica beach (south to the Pier) first established in the 1930s for fitness training purpose.
It is now a space with fitness equipments and friendly ambiance that people go for training.
A lot of professionals and amateurs perform tricking, a type of martial arts, together on the Original Muscle beach.
Persona - Lupita H.
Does not have full mobility in her legs. She does not have the ability to stand up on her own.
She can control her legs but needs to use wheel chair on a regular basis.
Passionate about sports and activities.
I met Lupita during a surfing event on Santa Monica Beach. She was enjoying surfing with the help of the volunteers. She was very excited about the idea of doing tricking performance.
"I am not the strongest,
but I dream big."
Main pain points
She needs a lot of extra support and protection on the beach while she wants to feel independent.
A very limited amount of activities are made possible for her. She wants to try different activities.
She does not want to feel like the person the the position of being helped. She is a strong person who is capable of doing more things then current situation.
Lupita can push her limit beyond other people's expectation?
How might we
help Lupita become the tricking performance superstar on the beach despite her limited mobility?
Using existing equipments
The original Muscle Beach has tons of existing equipments that can be utilize to help Lupita achieve her goal.
Adapting tricking movements
Tricking movements can be adapted to a version that is feasible to Lupita but still impressive to the audience.
When designing for Lupita, safety is an important criteria. It is the key to a pleasant experience for her.
1st round ideation
-What activities can be made possible for Lupita?
While there are so many activities on the beach, which ones can be made possible for Lupita with the help of the new product?
- Tricking performance
Tricking performance is a kind of martial arts. The Original Muscle beach is a very good place for the performers to practice and meet each other.
Lupita was amazed by the tricking performers on the Original Muscle beach and loved the idea to be able to be a performer which she never thought of doing before.
Out of all the ideas above, I chose to explore more about the tricking performance.
First concept is a device to help Lupita do flips which are very frequent in tricking performance.
The sand can get very hot, so performing on the ground becomes hard.
The physicians I interviewed does not recommend imposing force straight on user's back, which can potentially cause injuries.
The second concept is a body suit in which that Lupita can use her arms to assist leg movement while on the beams on the original muscle beach.
Safety is important to this concept.
How easy can it be to get it on?
There is a lot of pressure on belly part when trying to get on the beams.
What if we can replicate the visual effect of tricking performance with the movement of sand?
How do we create more variations of pattern?
How long can this stay interesting?
It is very uncomfortable wearing gloves during summer in Los Angeles.
-Which concept works the best for Lupita?
The body suit concept has the most potential to evolve and involves more possibility for different movements.
"I like the body suit a lot because I can actually wear it to the beach without carrying equipments and looking weird!" -Lupita
To make Lupita elegantly perform tricking art on the beach like a superstar as we promised, the body suit can possibly provide the most opportunity to look and perform like a professional.
2nd round ideation
-How to adapt tricking movements for Lupita?
Legs kick up in the front
Legs kick up in the back
-Methods to get her on the beam to use the product
Inspired by two methods of lifting ourselves in activities, the solutions aims to provide a more comfortable and easier way to let her get on the beams on Santa Monica beach.
Inspired by limbing gears
Inspired by aerial silk
The areas where she will be pulling on her legs need to be more steady.
It requires a little force to pull her self up to the beam. (see video)
Back of the waist feels very hot with the gears.
When doing the butterfly kicks, it is better to use shoulders as anchor points. Otherwise, arms are not long enough to pull and make the complete movement.
Getting onto the beams
Making it Better
There can be cut-outs on the back
Sweat pattern study
Back of the knees should be breathable
Where can more supportive materials be without compensating the capability of performing movements?
Line of non-extension study
The structure around the waist should be "X" shape in order to make it easier to bend and twist.
Structure around shoulder needs to allow arms to make movements 360 degree
Knees should be able to bend freely
Manufacturing - 3D-knitting
3D-knitting overcomes the off-cut waste in traditional apparel making process, therefore introduced a way to have zero material waste in the manufacturing process.
By applying different yarns and fabric structures, we will be able to have areas with different material characteristics in order to achieve functions as well as the patterns we want aesthetically.
-who will be producing DARE body suits?
World Federation Tricking (WFT)
DARE bodysuit aims to cooperate with NGOs to offer the experience as a special gifts.
Underlying material structure
A day with DARE bodysuit on Santa Monica beach
Lupita arrives at the original Muscle Beach in DARE bodysuit.
She throws the strap over a beam.
She pulls herself up.
She uses her hands to help complete the movements.
Lupita's movements impress a lot of people on the original Muscle Beach.
Block out pattern
Making sewing patterns
Making sewing patterns
Heat&Bond pattern in real colorway
Paint fabric patterns
Put together the suit