Mental Unfolding Shoebox

Ben Haber

"Mental Shoebox" is a vessel in the form of a shoebox locked in a complicated way that helps someone empathize with the mental and social roadblocks I have had to overcome to be able to perform athletically in track and field. Made out of wood, this box opens up when the user moves a piece through a maze appropriately to unlock one of four chains that lock the box, each representing a different challenge to accessing the shoe.

The goal of the box is to create empathy with the frustration and difficulty it takes to overcome mental challenges while simultaneously struggling with physical ones. It also helps users understand by creating mindset where they can access the racing shoes and run, having overcome all relevant challenges. While a complicated puzzle to access your shoes is not what every runner wants, the challenge and mental preparation it takes to open a box of some complicated variety, is necessary in preparation to actually run the race. The box is taller than it is wide or long, and has a maze on top the user must complete to unlock the box. Four chain attach the piece that moves through the maze to each side, so that when you have completed each chain, you can life the top off. Hopefully, any non runner could open this box and understand the correlation between mental, social and physical preparation and empathize with the mental difficulty of getting ready to run.