Final: Fearless Wall

Grady Newberg

The Fearless Wall is a prop used to focus on improving and mastering the art of perfectly balanced headstands/handstands. When attempting to learn these poses, most people will start by performing these poses against a wall for support. The difficult part once the user is able to do the pose is attempting to do the pose as it is supposed to be done without any support at all. This was the inspiration for the Fearless Wall: creating a device that would help teach people how to accomplish a headstand/handstand without wall support.

The Fearless Wall is designed to gradually help the user become more and more comfortable balancing their own bodyweight in an impressively difficult position by not needing the support of a wall for the pose. The Fearless Wall does this by giving an amount of resistance required for the user to be able to hold the pose. For example, if the user has trouble balancing in a headstand, the Fearless Wall will give a lot of resistace, acting somewhat like an ordinary wall so the user does not fall over. However, if the user is skilled in ballancing upside-down, the Fearless Wall gives little resistance, meaning if the user bumps into the wall, it will bend depending on the amount of resistance to which the user sets it. This flexible mechanism allows the user to be able to gradually teach themselves to position their bodies in the pose without much help from a wall, until finally they are able to get into the headstand/handstand without the assistance of any prop.

Final: Fearless Wall Arm Add On

John Caruso

After a tedious amount of prototypes, the arm piece add on is fully functional and robust. The arm add on consists of two large wooden rectangular boxes that lock into different postions on a bar. It is designed to help the user keep their elbows tucked in when doing a headstand with the fearless wall. It also comes equipped with two hand pieces to help give the user support when doing a handstand with the fearless wall. The inspiration behind this was when our group did a handstand and headstand in a yoga class, and the instructor pointed out how our elbows weren't tucked in which flawed our technique. The most evident problem of project was how the ridges on each box weren't fitting snuggly into the notches on the bar. However, this problem was fixed in the end resulting in the ridges on the two supporters fitting into the notches on the bar perfectly, along with the elbow supporters being able to be adjusted according to the users preference, while still maintaining the stability of the tool. The hand pieces were sucessfully implement onto the main bar so that the user could choose to have the hand pieces for support with the head/handstand, or remove them and have only the elbow supports. The finished product is in half scale and is able to be used with the main wall piece when in full scale.

Process: Fearless Wall Add-On

Alex Volcy

Initial Idea + Inspiration:

In addition to the main piece of the Fearless Wall, an add-on piece was created for the purpose of being able to the lock the user's elbows from going out further which is critical when performing headstand poses. We drew inspiration from when peforming these headstands, the group quickly realized that our elbows would gradually turn out, which is something you want to prevent when performing the pose. That is why we set out to create a device that prevented just that. 

First Prototype:

The way we went about creating the first prototype was to make two large blocks that would be running across a bar. The purpose of this design choice was it was hoped that the blocks would be able to lock in place and also be adjustable, thus allowing it to able to be used by a wider range of people.

Correcting Mistakes: 

After the first prototype of the add-on at 1/4 scale was created, many flaws were quickly arose. For one, the add-on didn't have any way for the blocks to lock into place, thus when the user made contact with the blocks, they would immentiely move out of place, throwing them off balance and defeating the purpose of the add-on. Secondly the entire notch and ridges system that was used to put the add-on together were all off, causing the entire device to look rough, unprofessional, and just slopply. And finally it was noticed that having the rod run through the middle of the blocks didn't allow a lot of the acutal block itself to be used for arm space, meaning that in the next prototype that was something that needed to be fixed.

Second Prototype: 

In the second prototype, most of the issues that were present in the first prototype were completely fixed. The blocks were now able to lock in place thanks to the notches along the bar that in conjunction with nothces that are on the outsides of the blocks, allow for the blocks to sit snug within the add-on. Also the notches themselves were improved across the entire piece, which allowed for the overall design of the device to look a lot cleaner. And finally the placement of the hole on the outsides of the blocks were moved from being in the middle to the back of. Which allowed for the majority of the blocks to be used for the acutal headstand.

Final Prototype:

For the final prototype of the add-on, there were three things that were accomplished. One, the add-on's native size was increased to insure that it would accomodate a user of any size. Another difference was that the prototype itself was created on a 1/2 scale instead of a 1/4. And finally we wanted to add another facet to the add-on that would just allow for more poses to be used in conjunction with the device. This came in the form of hand hold pieces that would be used in a formarm pose. In this pose it is important to keep your hands stable to properly execute the yoga pose. This is what the handhold pieces had accomplished. 

And with that final prototype being achieved, the overall add-on had been completed. 

Fearless Wall Process

Henry Hirshland

To start off the studio we began by spending a day understanding how the body functions in specefic relation to yoga poses.  Since my partners and I had a passion for headstands since day one, we were intrigued to develop a prop to help support this pose.  After brainstorming, we developed the idea of creating a wall that would offer varied amounts of support which can be set to the desired support depending on the confidence and ability of the user.

With this idea we began designing our first prototype.  This prototype was simply a wall pivoting on a box railing.  It worked with a spring system that was attached on top. While it did function, we found a few issues with this iteration.  One being that the box design was not very space efficient.  Plus, the spring system was set up in a way which did not allow for very smooth movement of the wall.  With these issues in mind, we began developing our second iteration.

For our next design, we combatted the problem of space efficieny  by creating an all new design which would enable users to utulize both sides of the prop and get the most out of their space.  Additionally, we added in additional features.  For example, on the back side we installed a ladder in the shape of a half circle.  We also switched out the spring system with a new rubber band system which enabled smooth movement and distinct varied support levels by simply adjusting the spacing of the bands.  

From this prototype, after constructing it and testing it, we made a few slight adjustments to produce our final prototype.  In this, we changed the railings from being semi-circles on both sides of the prop to a triangle on one side and semi-circles on the back side.  This created a more sleek design that would not appear as bulky, while continuing to offer the benefits from the back circular ladder. 

Moving forward, some major issues we will need to address at this point are the amount of support being offered by the different intervals available.  We will need to test this by measuring the amounts of force which can be applied to each stage, and how much the wall will give when force is being applied.  Also, we will need to incorperate a clean system for adjusting these intervals of support.  Currently, we have nails which the rubber bands hook into, but it would be nice to create a cleaner system which could consist of hooks along the railings, holes along the railings which the bands clip into, or different bands which have different tensions.

The Fearless Wall

Alex Volcy

The Fearless Wall Presentation.