Olympic uniforms under fire! An experience design ‘hit ‘n miss-take2’

I’m sure that some of you are enjoying the Olympics. Part of the interest besides watching the actual sports is the other spectator sport…the  ‘eye candy’ part 🙂 And that of course means admiring not only the athlete’s form, but their uniforms as well… colors, patterns, whatever that strikes you.

In the last few years, popular fabrics such as lycra have been worn by athletes to shave time off races/events, however sometimes the actual design of such slick exo-skins miss the mark and instead serve to undermine the athlete’s abilities.

At the moment, one point of controversy is the re-design of the American Speed Skating uniform.

Here is the problem:

“The Under Armour uniforms are to blame because, sources said, vents on the backs of the skintight suits meant to let body heat escape actually backfired. Instead of just letting heat out, allegedly, the vents let air in, to create a slight drag effect.” – mashable

Oftentimes, designing requires a fundamental and in this case expert understanding of science and how physics affects the user. One of our co-team peer organizers specializes in performance technology. She will provide us with some valuable insight in the next few months of what to consider when designing in this specialized area.

In the meantime, here is one more article with some rather amusing and racy photos illustrating the problem of AESTHETICS OVER FORM in Olympic Uniforms. And no… it’s not pretty :p

olympic uniform mis-fire“Christopher Spring posted a photo of what he called his “Power Belly” popping out of his too-tight racing suit one day before the event, narrowly avoiding the fate of the British bobsledder before him”fastcodesign




One thought on “Olympic uniforms under fire! An experience design ‘hit ‘n miss-take2’

  1. Great post, Juliana! It’s so crucial to apply holistic experience design approach, which involves understanding form, function, and the crucial part, usability! Understanding the form of the body and how shapes and style lines can affect not only the the physical usability, but also visual perceptions, which is huge when it comes to performance apparel, it plays to the psyche of athletes and spectators, re: Power Belly.

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