Teamwork with Xin Liu, Pinhao Wang, Yang Chen, and Yunes Askool.
May 2017 – Nov. 2017. Zhejiang University.
Adapshoe is a pair of sneakers designed for people with a sedentary lifestyle. While wearing like a normal shoe, Adapshoe can apply a controllable foot massage on soles acupoints.
In China, students and office workers are spending increasingly sedentary lifestyles. This inactivity can lead to problems like frequent cramping, digestive issues, and fatigue. Therefore, how to keep sedentary workers’ daily vitality, is discussed in this design project.
Initially, we interviewed 15 office workers in an architecture consulting company to better identify the target audience. Based on the interview results, we were clear of their need and conflict, and we specified our target audience as a diligent employee who always sitting at work. A persona was then drawn for building empathy. As we learned, workers’ sedentary lifestyles are mainly caused by facing an unreasonable workload. Such a burden is difficult to be alleviated, as it often part of modern lifestyles that related to workers’ career choices, personal pursuits, family needs, etc. However, from observation of a whole workday, we found that workers’ daily tasks, such as walking, sitting, and rest, can be redesigned to provide extra vitality.
Persona: Anders and his unchangeable workload
Design and Evaluation
By following this design direction, several promising design concepts popped up during rounds of brainstorming. From all ideas, we selected a reflexology shoe concept. Reflexology is a traditional Chinese medical treatment. It’s mild and gentle, which matched well with our design purpose to provide vitality subtly through users’ daily tasks. Based on the reflexology function, we selected shoes as a good carrier. Shoes are usually a closed and private space for individuals. Users will have the freedom to decide what to happen inside of their shoes. Besides, a shoe concept can make good use of users’ self-weight to create an effective reflexology experience.
As a conclusion to all these considerations, we named this concept as Adapshoe, which means to be adaptive to the sedentary lifestyle of our target audience. The final concept after several iterations of prototyping is shown below. It consists of a malleable insole and a mobile application to control it. The detailed iterating process will be described later.
The final concept of Adapshoe: a malleable insole with its mobile application
Prototype – Hardware
In the iterations of the “adapshoe” concept, we have tested several technologies to simulate the reflexology function. After experiments, we chose inflatable technology to apply foot pressure. With the inflatable airbags (actually we use balloons in the first iteration), it is easy to control and simulate many massage techniques, such as knuckle stroke, finger rub and squeeze. Besides, the inflatable technology is widely used in air-cushioned shoes, which means that well-sealed airbags are capable of supporting the weight of the body, therefore ensures that the product is suitable for use in usages like standing and walking.
First iteration prototype – technology realization
Prototype – Software
Based on this prototype, an application has been designed as the graphical interface to control airbags’ shape changing. We firstly draw a logic diagram and then complete the high-fidelity prototype with designed interfaces.
High-fidelity prototype with added logic diagram notes
Prototype – Shape and Structure
With the designed hardware and software, we did further design on the shape and structure of the shoe. In order to weaken the visual weight of the insole, we add some undulations on it. These position of the bumps on the insole are designed to suit the foot shape, so that makes the insole comfort and improve the sporty of Adapshoe. For the exhibition need (to show the insole inside), we create some holes on the shoe upper. It will be covered with mesh cloth in actual use.
Inspirations and the final scheme
The structure is enough for the placement of all electronic components
Exhibition and Award
In 2017, we exhibited the Adapshoe in Dubai Design Week, Global Grad Show for 7 days to people including students and professors from 92 universities, the public, and the press from all over the world. We got interviewed by DMI and CCTV, known as China Central Television. The press and local visitors thought highly of Adapshoe as a shoe that turns walking into therapy. In 2018, this project won the “Samsung Design Prize” by the IF award.
Adapshoe in Global Design Show, Dubai, 2017
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