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Julie
van der Meiden

The Builder’s Body

Project details

Year
2020
Programme
Advertising & Beyond
Practices
Social
Minor
Open Design

When I was little I wanted to be a carpenter (and a princess). My father has a workplace where we would hammer, saw, drill and make things from wood. As I grew older I ended up here, at the art academy. But my father kept on hammering and sawing and drilling. After years of this work, his joints abrade, resulting in painful arthritis.

What if we would treat
construction workers
like the athletes
they truly are?

Working a hard labour job takes a toll on the body. Especially construction workers. These people work difficult jobs in frequently challenging weather conditions on uneven grounds and strain their bodies until they can go no further, and possibly injure themselves. They often won’t make the required retirement age for their bodies give out after years of manual labour.

There is another group working their bodies to their limits; Athletes. They get the newest training techniques, materials and gear to get the most out of their performance. And being an athlete gives status and has a good image.

If we would view our construction workers in the same way, how would we dress them and treat their bodies?

‘The builders body’ is an installation where the viewer is challenged to view prototypes of possible new protective gear in active movements inspired form builders-movements. The gear is made in collaboration with multiple roofers and a physiotherapist.

Prototyping

With the knowledge acquired and the advise given by a physiotherapist the design process was started together with construction-workers, based on their frustrations and needs. I made tests and combined sports-gear and workwear to visualize possible prototypes in a future scenario.

Want to know more?
juliemeiden@gmail.com

Project details

Year
2020
Programme
Advertising & Beyond
Practices
Social
Minor
Open Design