The Giraffe is a piece of furniture that I designed after relocating from Copenhagen to Bergen. Before relocating I had just spent three weeks with my younger brother, sailing down the west coast of Greenland where he enthusiastically told (and showed), the great results he had been gaining from his calisthenics training. As one can probably imagine of a trip like that, you get a lot time to contemplate, and thus one might sympathize with why I became inspired to pick up Calisthenics training myself.
Finding myself at the start of a new beginning in Bergen, Filled up with loads of inspiration, nothing could stop me from starting my habit. - So as I found that there were no product solution that quite met my needs, I did what any maker in my situation would have done... I made something...
In this article I will share my thoughts and show the process in designing and making; The calisthenics furniture piece, the Giraffe.
I am an adopter of James Clear´s framework, from his book Atomic Habits. In Atomic Habits it is explained how shaping the around environment can be an effective tool to nudge desired behavior. I generally find that living in an environment where it is easy to do the "right things", and difficult to do the "wrong things" I generally do more of the right and less of the wrong. James clear calls this principle for "friction". As one decrease the friction for getting started with a certain behavior so does the urge to procrastinate.
Putting the principle of friction into practice for my own calisthenics training I knew I needed a solution that would be on display in my room. If had to go to a park or a gym every time I had to exercise that would add friction to committing to the behavior and impact how frequent I would manage to actually exercise.
That I would be pleased to have in my everyday environment....
Had to be found....
And i think I solved it pretty well....
As I'm restricted by my landlord from boring or screwing in my ceiling or walls, I had to find a solution that would be able to carry my weight without using hardware like rawlplugs and screws. Searching for a solution for a type of hardware that would let me extend the length of my furniture I fell over a heavy duty type of hardware called a "pillar foot". Judging on its applications I new this would suit my needs.
I knew I needed a material in both ends of the pillar that would provide full contact with the opposing surface to distribute the pressure to not cause marks in the floor or the ceiling, as well as provide resistance from the furniture from slipping. Not only did i find that cork met these requirements but I'm also found of It's esthetical qualities in combination with the light timber.
There's plenty of variations and types of exercises that's possible with a pull-up bar and these only multiply as combined with gymnastics rings.
I had to share this online awesome free resource: darebee.com Its library of multiple exercises is perfect for finding inspiration on how to exercise different muscle groups no matter your level of fitness.
I had two greater inspirations in designing The Griraffe.
Is the furniture and fitness equipment brand: Heimholz - Especially their piece Anna, which also establishes structural strength through an extension of a component in between the floor and ceiling.
Is the Youtube channel from Benjamin Uyeda: Homemademodern - Here I was inspired by the simplistic aesthetics shown in his DIY Pull Up / Chin Up Bar video
I modelled my idea in SolidWorks. As I'm a certified professional I find it simple create multiple iterations of my idea rapidly. Thus I get a feeling for form and how the different components could be joined for structural strength. The screenshot above shows how my final design looks as the outer components are hidden.
I was lucky to be able to source most of the needed materials from the Norwegian online marketplace finn.no. Here I found an old crib and a desk that both had deffects and thus was given away. I disassembled them both so that the materials were ready for further working.
After, modelling, lasercutting, measuring, sawing, drilling, gluing, sanding, and coating, all my components were finally ready for assembly.
Time will tell how my calisthenics habit will unfold. But I feel like this is a habit that will stick for long!
Under all circumstances I learned a lot in terms of woodworking. And making this project was plenty of Fun!
If you have any questions, comments or feedback regarding the creation, don't hesitate and reach out I'll love to hear from you and give you my thoughts.
And if you know any body who would be happy to hear about my project, feel free to share. And if you like my content then consider subscribing to my newsletter in the footer of my website, that way you'll get notified on E-mail next time I'm post a creation or a reading. - Thanks for reading!