Bouncers : exploring daily activity in society

S.J.A. Bogers, C.J.P.G. Megens, M.M.R. Peeters, C.C.M. Hummels

Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic

Abstract

Modern societal trends and technologies enable us to live our lives comfortably; we have easy access to an excessive amount of food and requiring only minor physical effort throughout the day. We have surrounded ourselves with technologies designed for our efficiency and comfort that enable a high quality of life. However, with respect to our health and wellbeing, this development has serious downsides as well. In societies across the globe, we see a decline in physical activity resulting in severe health risks (e.g., obesity, diabetes, or cardio vascular problems) and exponentially expanding related costs (Peeters and Megens, 2014). So how can we turn this move and decrease our health risks? How can design play an active role in a shift towards societal transformation? Since design is about localising (making a matter concrete), questioning (reflection on its quality) and opening up (expanding its sense) (Sennett, 2008), it is able to create new value propositions and boost disruptive innovations, which might be needed to create structural change and sustainable growth. The Bouncers project presented in this booklet investigates new methods and tools in order to move towards societal transformation. The project aims to realise an Experiential Design Landscape (EDL), which raises social connectedness towards an active lifestyle. It does so by connecting small groups of people in Eindhoven together (e.g. friends, family, colleagues, team members) to share and discuss their daily activity. Bouncers is a mobile platform which measures the users’ physical activity throughout the day and shares this with their peers. In this way Bouncers subtly allows people to get insight in and raise awareness about their own and their peers’ daily activity. Based upon earlier results, this current project expands and further explores the possibilities for the Bouncers platform, when released to a larger public. Bouncers is a mobile platform for Android smart phones (most popular mobile platform) and available on Google Play. For this project we focused for a large part on the Eindhoven community, more specifically elderly and children. Since the city of Eindhoven shares this dream of a sustainable and healthy community, they co-funded this two-year project. In this booklet we show traces of our search and developments. The first chapter ‘Bouncers: setting the stage’ provides the backbone and starting point of this book. It outlines the reasons behind the Bouncers project and explains what Bouncers is. The second chapter ‘Research through Design: Experiential Design Landscapes" explain the method used for this project. The third chapter explains the development of Bouncers as an Experiential Probe for people to use in their daily life and reflect on their own and their friend’s activity and health. The fourth chapter "Bouncers: a platform for a healthy Eindhoven" explains the use of Bouncers in collaboration with De Ondernemende Huisarts (DOH). It explores if patients in Eindhoven are helped with such a social activity network. The fifth chapter "Zit met Pit" explains a user study with children from two primary schools. The sixth chapter briefly addresses a few other initiatives that make use of Bouncers, thus exploring its broad potential. In the final chapter, the reader will find a recap of the project and a conclusive report about the findings and insights in relation to the initial goal of the project. Moreover, the last chapter briefly describes the plans, dreams and upcoming projects that will evolve from the outcomes found in this Bouncers project. We hope you enjoy reading this booklet, be inspired by it, and help shaping the future of Eindhoven and beyond, starting for every individual connected in a social community, in order to move towards a sustainable and balanced society.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEindhoven
PublisherEindhoven University of Technology
Number of pages79
ISBN (Print)978-90-386-3765-5
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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