questioning athletic performance futures with evolving technology

Clippit — Speculative Design

In this two quarter DRG we will design and create three short videos to provoke discussion around the future of tracking and data collection in sports. Through a research method called Speculative Design we will aim to get student-athletes, coaches, and staff at universities in the US as well as the wider collegiate athletic community to think and reflect on what they want (or don't want) from sports tracking technologies.
Below is the final video framing what our speculative future of sports technology may look like.
the biodata
Academic Design Research Group
Winter/Spring 2021 — 20 weeks ongoing
Dr. Sean Munson — HCDE Assoc. Professor
Sam Kolovson — UW HCDE PhD Thesis
Sam Kolovson — HCDE PhD Student
Nicki Chan — Industrial Design
Lark Skov — Linguistics / Elite Athlete
+ Naomi Chau, Paul Fallon, Chris Hong, Claire Marion, Drew Nevins, Jenna Phillips, Ciana Yi
pen & paper, cameras, Miro, Figma, Premiere Pro, AfterEffects, Google Suite
We aim to get the collegiate athletic community to think and reflect on what they want (or don't want) from sports tracking technologies.
Design Goal
week one
After greetings and getting-to-know-ya's we jumped right into ideating. To get us in the correct mindset we spent a maximum of 2 hours taking everyday items and imagined what they would look like in the future shared through a sketch video.
I took a small bookshelf cart and transformed it into an Amazon-like experience. The reimagined shelf tracked and evaluated your reading habits in order to offer advice and recommendations on how and what to read. 
We were greatly inspired by the work collected in James Auger's Crafting the Speculation.
week two
After sharing our future forward everyday items we began shifting our focus into the world of athletics. We were tasked with the same video format as week one but this time discussing value tensions in the athletic sphere. 
I explored the tensions of success & performance against trust & accountability through a simple contact lens interface that requires users to confirm what data they want to trade with who.
This week's concepts were guided by Stephen Pupura and team's Fit4Life, a speculative paper discussing the wariness of over-designing for health and weight loss.
week three
We continued into week three with more rapid ideation. Instead of taking one concept and building it into a more structured video, we quickly sketched potential tracking technologies and scenarios. We brought in over 200 ideas that ranged from worst to best scenarios and undesirable to preferred technologies. 
Prior to interacting with each others ideas we research coded chunks of quantitative data that came in earlier research attaching value tensions to interview quotes.
We then as a group annotated and marked almost all 200+ ideas. Marking them with potential issues, fitting value tensions, as well as memes and emojis, in order to get a better understanding of what directions we should pursue.
week four
Week four called for storyboarding. We took each others ideas and mixed and supplemented them in order to craft storyboards that described how the technology would work and what value tensions it would fall under.
When we came together we tracked patterns and similarities in order to get a better sense of what stories were more compelling than others. 
week five
We took a step back in week five to take it all in.  We looked at the bigger picture and then picked pieces and elements inorder to build out four main stories we could potentially tell.  We grouped our ideas into three main sections:
• privacy & trust vs. accountability and integrity
• teams vs. individual and success vs. autonomy
• tech inequality and the concept of choice
• data-driven training vs. data-informed training
week six – ten
In the finals weeks of the first half of our research we split into smaller groups to better understand our value tension scenario. Our group was assigned the combined sections of tech inequality, teams vs individual, and success vs. autonomy. 
Our halfway presentation is laid out below. Here we explained how we evolved out problem space into the question of "how much is too much?". We aim to create a discourse on how to balance data use and its impact on performance and health. In our proposed video we will portray the paradoxes that arise with tracking technologies through the life of the same student-athlete in two different universes, one is saturated with technology and the other is technologically minimal.
looking ahead to reactions
Thanks you to Sam Kolovson for creating a research space that is near to my heart and a safe space to share ideas. You've brought together a group of diverse academic and worldview backgrounds and made the research process smooth and effortless. Thanks to my smaller group teammates Lark and Nicki for being down for anything and perceptive to all ideas and views. I'm happy to see this project land where it did and am looking forward to seeing the reaction to the research.

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