The human body is capable of very rich and complex movements and gestures which we use in everyday life to manipulate, navigate and negotiate the world around us—it is our interface for human experience. However, as technology advances it simultaneously shrinks, moving closer to our bodies, intertwining with the many facets of our lives and positions itself between our experiences of the physical environments around us. When utilizing these technological systems in the context of intense sporting activities this competition for our focus leads to problematic scenarios—in the best case altering the aesthetic qualities of physical activity and in the worst case leaving us vulnerable to perilous situations.

This constructive design research thesis, aims to understand how design may be used in relation to the body as part of an informative research approach to generate knowledge about how people actively engage with technology. This is deemed increasingly important as the advancements in technological connectivity and its corresponding trend in miniaturization create a pervasive effect that beckons closer examination and attention as these elements influence how we move. This is achieved by investigations conducted through studies in the area of extreme sports—specifically mountain biking and climbing activities— with the purpose of deepening understanding about human engagement with digital technologies situated within particular contexts. This research explores how the body’s movements can be considered a material to be worked with, designed and assessed in order to influence performance behaviour.

systems today tend to demand our attention and our focus rather than allowing for these crucial world inputs to filter through – Pg. 22
read more

The public defence was successfully defended on Tuesday, the 21st of March, 2017 at 13:00 in the Project Studio of the Umeå Institute of Design.


Tom Djajadiningrat, Creative Director, Philips Design, Netherlands.


Anna Croon Fors, Lecturer at the Department of Informatics, Umeå University.
Anna Nordström, Professor at Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University.
Stefan Holmlid, Assistant Professor and Lecturer in Interaction and Service Design, Linköpings University.


Andreas Lund, Umeå University, Sweden.
Johan Redström, Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden.
Ambra Trotto, Umeå University, Sweden.


Swedish Television National News (SVT)

Swedish Television local News (SVT)

Så kan extremsportarens teknik bli bättre och säkrare

(1:51 mins)
Language: Swedish and English

Att vara uppfinnare innebär ofta risker och stora kostnader. Umeå har sina egna uppfinnare, som alla har testat vingarna med olika resultat.

Listen to broadcast here


Language: Swedish

Förbättrad säkerhet, men också rikare upplevelser, står i fokus för Rouien Zarins forskning. Rouien designar prototyper för situationer som kräver både koncentration och koordination, till exempel under olika former av extremsport. Download PDF here

Umeås okända uppfinnare

Language: Swedish

Att vara uppfinnare innebär ofta risker och stora kostnader. Umeå har sina egna uppfinnare, som alla har testat vingarna med olika resultat.

View article here

Så ska träningen förbättras– redan medan du tränar

Language: Swedish
SUPPORT UTAN ATT TAPPA FOKUS. Tillverkare av tekniska enheter som vi bär runt
på verkar främst vara intresserade av teknikdriven forskning. Men prylarna, så kallade
wearables, behöver anpassas till behov och inte kräva fokus utan snarare erbjuda support,
visar Rouien Zarins avhandling vid Designhögskolan. Download PDF here

BILDEN AV UMEÅ: Se upp i backen!

Language: Swedish

6 Days before the defence, this article was published when I was taking time off of defence preperations and sledding with my kids at a local ski hill

Download PDF here


Language: Swedish

UNIVERSITETET. Tisdag den 21 mars försvarar Rouien Zarin, Designhögskolan, sin avhandling med titeln Faster.
Stronger. Better? Designing for enhanced engagement of extreme sports. Download PDF here

Rouien tog fram ett pulserande GPS-styre för cyklister

Det började med att Rouien Zarin inte tyckte att det var särskilt praktiskt att köra mountainbiken med den smarta telefonen fäst på styret. Han ville hitta andra sätt att få samma information på. Nu doktorerar han på Designhögskolan på Umeå universitet i interaktiv design. – Även om man bara tittar bort från vägen jättekort så tappar man fokus och man kan krascha, säger Rouien Zarin.


Starkare! Snabbare! Men bättre med teknik?

Language: Swedish


Teknikprylar för extremsportare – support eller olycksrisk

Language: Swedish

Att använda teknikprylar i samband med olika former av extremsport leder till ett tudelat fokus och kan också bidra till riskfyllda scenarier… via forskning.se