Desirable impact : an exploration of how design for desirability can enhance a forecast snowboarding safety product

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Date
2010
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Open Access Location
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Massey University
Abstract
With origins in skateboard and surfing culture, snowboarding has grown to become a mainstream recreational and professional sport, officially recognized in the Olympic Games. This popularity can be attributed to several factors, including the sub-culture of rebellion and self-expression it embodies and the daring, dynamic aerial maneuvers and stunts often portrayed in the media. However, the sport also exposes participants to a well-documented injury pattern, with injuries rates typically twice as frequent as those seen in skiing. While a number of studies have shown existing snowboarding safety products reduce the risk of injury, these readily available products are not widely used among participants who view them as “uncool” and “unnecessary”. Exploring how affective features and attributes can improve the desirability of a forecast snowboarding personal protective equipment (PPE) product, this thesis proposes that a primary requirement for these products must be desirability - to make attractive, to create a positive impression, to strengthen ones identity and engender appreciation. Responding to these emotional needs, this thesis presents a proposal for a product designed to enhance user-experience, challenging the current philosophy of safety products and their ‘uncool’ perceptions.
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Snowboarding, Personal protective equipment, Industrial design
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