Muscle memory emerges through associative learning. Once you master a new motor skill, it becomes unconscious and an individual is unlikely to forget it. The more routine a behavior becomes, the less we are aware of it. Examples of muscle memory are found in a lots of daily activities that become automatic and improve with practice, such as swimming, riding a bicycle, playing a musical instrument, martial arts or even dancing. This process decreases the need for attention to detail and creates maximum efficiency within the motor and memory systems. Efficiency is the ability to complete a task whilst avoiding wasting effort. Muscle memory is a learning process that uses this concept.
‘Practice makes perfect’
According to the book Outliers', the idea that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice are needed to create expert performers. The concept that any of us could fulfill our dreams of by clocking up the hours.
This project aims to document the concept of muscle memory, which is a fundamental form of learning, in order to rethink the definition of standardisation in the future. I design a collection of dance training devices as a notation of body movement, and give opportunities for people to choose the most efficient way of gaining ‘perfect’ skills by harnessing professional dancer’s muscle memory.
I want to draw people attention that most human behaviors appear to be standardised by either our muscle memory or by social conditioning. The rationalisation behind standardisation is often purported to be through making our lives safer, simpler, more comfortable and more efficient. However, is standardisation a process enhancer or a creativity killer?
This collection was exhibited at Dutch design week in 2018.