A SUSTAINABLE HOLD ON CLIMBING
HENRIK LUNDERBYE & KAROLINA REIT
WHAT: The purpose of this project is to develop ergonomic, aesthetic and sustainable climbing grips.
WHY: With our climbing holds we want to elevate the design of climbing holds and reduce injuries through sustainable materials.
PROBLEMS: Current climbing holds look outdated and naively tries to mimic nature. There are a high number of injuries and the ergonomics on climbing holds are overlooked. The majority of all climbing holds today are made of plastics and glass fiber reinforced materials which are the opposite of sustainable.
HOW: Our process has involved interviewing experts within the fields of material and climbing. Research through literature, observations and material aesthetic explorations with colour and texture. Ideation with form and function.
RESULT: Climbing holds designed with regards for aesthetics and ergonomics with birch plywood which elevates the shapes and curvatures of the design.
INVOLVED: Henrik Lunderbye & Karolina Reit
The birch plywood's qualities are very strong due to the different layers of the wood's fiber direction. This strength is required and has a very good application in climbing holds. These different layers also contribute to the unique aesthetic of our climbing holds.
The final result of this degree project was eight climbing holds for indoor use, design based on ergonomics as well as aesthetics. The design is also shaped by the users' experience of climbing. We wanted to create a feeling of dynamism and peace in the same shapes. The simplicity of the shapes creates a seriousness, while the movements make them dynamic and playful. The climbing holds attract your eyes and entice you to movement. We shaped the holds so that the climber uses a larger part of the hand to minimize overexertion injuries on the fingers.
The progress of ideation. These sketches show our process from the very start to the end. The sketches with a yellow marking are the sketches we chose to further develop with styrofoam.
Our early prototypes consisted of styrofoam for an easy exploration of ergonomics and aesthetics. This method was very useful because we could discuss each other's design and the ergonomic properties of the prototypes.
The holds offer the climber more opportunities for different grips depending on how you grab them or how it is hanging on the wall. By offering more functions in one hold you also cut down on material consumption, and fewer holds are required to build a creative problem on the wall.
Our climbing holds only consist of two materials excluding the screws and bolts.This makes it very easy to recycle. After wear and tear you can with an additional CNC milling grind away the outer layer that has been damaged. This process adds years to the total lifespan of our climbing holds. From one big climbing hold you can use the same method to create smaller climbing holds.
Ergonomics is an important part of climbing holds. We have read literature and done our own research to make sure that our climbing holds have the ergonomic properties suited for climbers needs.
Patterns created by the different layers of the plywood and the colour of the wood makes the climbing hold stand out on the wall compared to the usual ones made of tired plastic.