Gender-sensitive bike saddle
Designed by Tim Schuetze
About the project.
PRO/CESS is a gender-sensitive, fully customised and additively manufactured bike saddle. Unlike predetermined products, the concept embraces an fluid open source process that focuses on individual needs and rejects gendered standards.
The concept follows the principle of input/algorithm/output. The input is formed by the individual data of the users, which is gathered decentrally with an app. Utalizing simple image recognition technology, a 3D model of the butt is created. Corresponding ergonomic data is then derived and additional preferences such as weight and body-flexibility are entered. Based on this, the algorithm adjusts the shape, size, padding and look of the saddle in the CAD model and constantly optimises itself with new data sets. Print data for FDM and SLS printing is then generated and made available as output. Users eventually have the choice of printing the saddle themselves, sharing the commission in the 3D-print community or ordering the saddle from an authorized microfactory.
Our designed environment is strongly marked by gender-differentiated products. These, as well as supposedly "unisex" versions, not only fail to recognize the diversity of human identities, but ultimately also contribute to the preservation of patriarchal norms and hierarchies. In a product field conventionally conceived in "male" and "female" standards, PRO/CESS represents a gender-sensitive approach that considers physical characteristics and preferences independently of gender identity and is consciously not based on any standards. To meet this demand, additive manufacturing is utilized as a key technology for mass customization, that becomes increasingly accessible and, in the sense of prosumerism, enables decentralized production that does not originate from large corporates but is organized in dynamic networks.