Design Opportunities Breast Cancer Patients
Current research evidence suggests many health benefits from physical activity during and post cancer treatments (Speck et al. 2010) such as improved quality of life, reduce the risk of death from this disease (Holmes et al. 2005) improve physical functioning and decrease symptoms of fatigue in (ex-) breast cancer patients (McNeely et al. 2006). Moreover, research evidence suggests that a considerable part of women, in the early months after being diagnosed with breast cancer, experienced body image and sexual problems (Fobair et al. 2005) and appear to react to the mastectomy operation with a decline in self-image. While some articles suggest a lower body satisfaction is not the motivation for engaging exercising but predicts a preference in behaviour that risks weight gain (Neumark-Sztainer et al. 2006).
Design proposition - A combination with body image
As mentioned in my vision, I believe in the strong connection between being physically active and self-image. I therefore do not only want to focus on the physical activity level but want to implement the improvement of self-image, based on physical activities, on short term as well. To eventually stimulate a two-way positive relation where one (e.g. physical activities) enhances the other (e.g. self-image) and vice versa.
Aymée is a bra that encourages (ex-) breast cancer patients to become more physically active by stimulating the wearer to feel more feminine and beautiful based upon their physical activities. Aymée transforms based upon the amount of daily physical activities, where more activities equals a richer and detailed pattern on the bra.
The transformations within Aymée stimulate reflection moments on the activity level. However, by placing and transforming the presentation of the activity level on such an intimate and confronting object, a psychological effect is pursued: Aymée aims to complement the overall appearance of the wearer and encourage her to feel proud, beautiful and feminine. Being physically active directly stimulates feeling good on hormonal level while visual effects that contribute to feeling good, such as losing weight, only occur after a long period of perseverance of a new lifestyle. Aymée stimulates to provide moments that affect the appearance of the wearer on short term and stimulates a positive reinforcement between feeling good about yourself and being physically active.