By Adam, Lucy, TJ, and Natalie
Often in life, we feel overwhelmed by the delusion of perfectly balanced self-care. People are told to sleep 8 hours, cook wholesome meals and eat well, spend time with friends, be productive at work, clean, exercise, and be grateful. It often feels like there’s no time to do everything, and people feel pressure to sacrifice one aspect of wellbeing for the sake of others, usually work. But numerous studies emphasize the importance of balance. Exercise has been found to support positive mental health (Penedo & Dahn, 2005). A study of undergraduates found that poor sleep in quality and duration is associated with psychological well-being problems (Khai, Gao, & Wang, 2018) and socialization in the form of person-to-person contact has been found to help regulate physical responses to stress and anxiety (Pinker, 2014). Yet consistently, people struggle to find the balance between these different spheres of their lives. We thought about this problem and wanted to come up with a way to emphasize a harmonious interaction between multiple life spheres.
HARMONY is to inspire the user to maintain a state of harmony between three essential components of your life. Rather than saying each sphere needs to be in perfect balance, the sculpture reminds the user that these categories exist in congruence with each other. In our example, we use exercise, sleep, and socializing, but people may choose their own three important life categories, dubbed “spheres.”
Goal tracking apps exist to allow users to make progress on personalized goals, but they fall short. Other apps lack the physical manifestation of personal goal progress that our sculpture creates, and they don’t recognize the holistic experience of a balanced life. Rather than thinking of each goal as a static, independent checkbox, HARMONY acknowledges the transient, interconnected nature of the balance between different life goals.
Our sculpture combines light, color, and movement to create a beautiful, visual representation of balance. It connects to an app where the user can log their daily, weekly, or monthly progress on goals within their three personalized spheres. Customize your spheres, create your goals, track your progress, and be inspired to find harmony.
When the user reports engaging with a sphere through the app, the responding prong lifts in response. The sculpture becomes a visual representation of the person’s progress log on their goals over the course of the day, week, or month (the user sets their own desired time frame). By engaging with the soothing movement of the sculpture, users are prompted to continue their quest for flourishing and wellbeing.
The sphere shape symbolizes balance, and the holistic nature of goal-setting. These shapes calm the user in any configuration, and promote the quest for harmony in a positive way, even when the orbs are out of balance.
The shapes emit light that soothe and engage the user. These glowing spheres generate feelings of ‘awe’ and ‘possibility’ in the user. Color is customizable to personal taste and association, creating a connection between the user, interface, and sculpture.
HARMONY acts as a visual representation of the user’s well-being: if one prong lifts up and the other two remain all the way at the bottom, the user can see that they perhaps are overemphasizing one life sphere at the expense of others. Thus, users are inspired to find more balance by focusing on the other goals they set for themselves in other realms of their life.
Pinker, S. (2014). The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier and Happier. Random House Canada.
Zhai, K., Gao, X., & Wang, G. (2018). The Role of Sleep Quality in the Psychological Well-Being of Final Year UndergraduateStudents in China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(12).