ABOUT

BP LAB reimagines ballet.

It's about innovation - coming up with smart, surprising, technology-driven solutions to help the 21st century dancer perform better than ever before.  It sees these athletes as something other than dancers: it sees them as users.

 

And in reimagining the dancer as a user and in striving towards design innovation, BP LAB aims to understand not only what ballet dancers use, but why they use it - understanding both the design and functionality of ballet apparel and equipment. We ask, Why this specific garment or piece of equipment for this specific activity?

In short: Why does ballet need X?

(...And how can we design a better X)

 

Through answering this question of Why X?, BP LAB explores how technology can enhance the existing functionalities of ballet apparel and equipment and allow ballet dancers to gain greater insight into the status of both their own body and what is on top of it - their clothes and equipment.

 

BP LAB consists of a collection of concept prototypes, each using sensor-based technologies in order to provide feedback to dancers about their performance, technique, or equipment status. Some act as learning tools for younger dancers, others act as a means of monitoring both technique and equipment in order to prevent injury.

 

However, all reconsider the longstanding conventions of ballet, demonstrating a potential area of discussion and research in design and technology, and calling attention to how innovators in these fields have overlooked an entire population of athletes worthy of innovation -  namely, ballet dancers.

IN REIMAGINING

THE DANCER AS USER,

BP LAB AIMS TO UNDERSTAND

NOT ONLY WHAT BALLET DANCERS USE,

BUT WHY THEY USE IT.

INNOVATORS IN DESIGN AND

TECHNOLOGY HAVE OVERLOOKED AN ENTIRE POPULATION OF ATHLETES WORTHY  OF INNOVATION - NAMELY, BALLET DANCERS.

PSTN

PSTN

PSTN creates a new way for young dancers to learn one of the key foundations of ballet:

the five foot positions.

 

A simple wooden floor mat embedded with proximity sensors to detect user movement, PSTN has two different modes: [1] the first signals to the user their current foot positions via lighting the corresponding number of LEDs on the PSTN tile in the upper right corner; [2] the second "quizzes" the user on the different positions, adding new positions to the sequence until the user guesses incorrectly.

 

Both functions serve as learning tools designed to make ballet training a more interactive,

playful experience.

flx / pnt

FLX /

PNT

FLX/PNT shoes bring ballet dancers back to the basics.

 

A hacked version of the traditional ballet slippers, FLX/PNT tells users how far they have pointed their feet, receiving input from embedded flex sensors that run along the sole and sending corresponding output through a 12 LED ring in the toe of the shoe. The greater the point, the greater the number of lit LEDs.

 

By providing a real-time, visual feedback mechanism, the shoes support active stretching and allow users to track their progress over time.

RPM

RPM

Using the data recieved from an accelerometer/magnetometer/gyroscope sensor, our RPM skirt measures how many full, consecutive turns, or fouettes, have been completed in a given period of time. This turn count is visualized by the number of LEDs illuminated along the side of the skirt.

 

Once it detects that the user has stopped turning, the skirt resets the counter and LED outputs back to zero.

 

In ballet, it is particularly significant to complete thirty-two consecutive fouettes - a feat first accomplished in 1893 and subsequently incorporated into many 20th Century ballets such as Swan Lake.

WARM  UP

warm up

Updating typical studio class attire, we have created insulated shorts with integrated heating elements that target key joints and muscle groups to prepare the user's body to perform its best.

 

As the interior heating components begin to activate, the exterior thermochromic embroidery changes from black to white, signaling the change in temperature.

CONTACT

Interested in testing out some of our prototypes?

Have an awesome idea you'd love to see come to life?

Just want updates on what's going on at BP Lab?

 

Just send us a message and we'll

be in touch with you soon

 

- BP LAB

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Jane McDonough © Copyright 2015