Project Description

2019 / Lund University / Collaboration with IKEA

Parkhäng is a portable hammock that encourages people to venture out of the city and take a break in a soothing natural environment.

Brief
The brief from IKEA was to build on their idea of improving everyday life for the many people and to focus on sustainable living and life off the grid. It was an open brief that allowed for a multitude of personal interpretations.

My interpretation
Living in an urban environment full of distractions and stimuli can cause stress and mental fatigue. Research have shown that spending time in natural environments, off the grid, can reduce stress and improve well-being. My interpretation of the brief became to improve everyday life by encouraging people to spend more time in nature, off the grid.

Background

The risk of experiencing stress and mental health issues is generally higher in big cities compared to in rural areas. According to Attention Restoration Theory urban dwellers can reduce stress and improve well being by experiencing nature or engaging in undemanding and stimulating  activities.

Ideation

As I read about stress and restoration many ideas on how to improve well being came to mind. Most of them revolved around encouraging people to go out in nature or to experience natural elements from home.

Concept

The idea I found most interesting was that of a portable hammock that invites people to venture out of the city and take a break in a soothing natural environment while engaging in the undemanding activity of swinging.

Inspiration

I found inspiration for the design of the hammock from the aerial yoga and acrobatic communities where long pieces of semi elastic fabric are used to perform exercises in mid air.

Sketch models

I started the design process by exploring different designs using simple sketch models in fabric. This allowed me to quickly explore ideas and solutions for hanging and transporting the hammock.

Prototypes

As the basic design of the hammock crystallized I moved on to full size mockups which allowed me to test the ergonomic aspects, how the different parts connect to each other, how to hang the hammock from a tree and how it could fold into a portable format.

Result

A portable hammock that invites people to venture out of the city and take a break in a soothing natural environment while swinging from the branches of a big tree. The plywood rings makes it quick and easy to hang the hammock on any branch while the modular design makes it easy to clean, repair and recycle. When not in use the hammock folds into a convenient backpack for effortless transportation.