Search anything

Close search
Back to Programme
What if running was not only about burning calories but also about birdsong?

Run With Birds

Run With Birds is an activewear concept that responds to bird sound. The activewear connects with a mobile app that allows users to explore their interactions with local birds.

This year’s lockdown has highlighted the benefits of outdoor pursuits in terms of mental health. However, many running gear designs focus primarily on physical self-optimisation rather than holistic approaches to wellbeing.

Research suggests that interacting with birds, or hearing birdsong, can be therapeutic and alleviate stress. Run With Birds shifts the focus away from the physical benefits of running towards connecting with nature. In addition, it challenges current activewear trends that focus on body image.

Bird audio classification technology (BACT) has developed rapidly in recent years. As cities become increasingly connected, BACT could be further developed to connect with other natural sounds. This technology could allow us to build a deeper understanding of urban wildlife and form new methods of engaging with outdoor experiences.

Urban bird patterns indicate environmental biodiversity and habitat quality. Run With Birds allows people to collect data and monitor urban ecology. It forms a community through which existing bird knowledge can be exchanged.

Mi Zhou

Mi Zhou graduated from the Royal College of Art (MA) in 2020 and Central Saint Martins (BA) in Textile Design. She specialises in combining a variety of design techniques, using colour, materials and fabrics to narrate the relationship between humans and nature.