Runner's medal

Running contests for amateurs have become enormously popular during the past 10 years. It is customary that every participant of such a race receives a medal after crossing the finish line. These medals are not very interesting. They all look the same. They lack emotional value. As a consequence they usually end up somewhere in the back of a closet.

Our goal was to create a more interesting medal. We wanted to give runners a personalized souvenir of their race. For this project we worked with data from Nike +, a system which tracks time, distance and speed. This information is fed into a Processing sketch that generates the medal's shape. The object is then ready to be fabricated by a laser cutter.

After experimenting with different algorithms, materials and settings we settled on a system that represents the run on a disc shape. This was important to us, because we wanted to have an object that would still be recognizable as a medal. The lines indicate speed, so the medal also becomes a visualization of the runner's story in the race. The medal is made from cheap MDF material, but the cut through lines and burn marks give a it shiny appearance.

Bert Balcaen
Ingrid Stojnic



Date: February 2012

Last updated: 10 years ago