Abbey Dahl


200 BPM: A Human Powered Outdoor Exhibition


200 BPM is a human powered outdoor exhibition that highlights four women: Katherine Switzer, Marilyn Bevans, Wilma Rudolph, and Bobbi Gibbs, who courageously changed history so women could legally compete in running competitions. In the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s it was highly discouraged for women to run more than a mile and half. According to doctors women ran the risk of growing chest hair, getting bigger legs, and the worst was that their uterus’ could fall out.

This project was a collaboration between me and Bennett Westling, an industrial designer and friend. In order to experience the exhibit one can either walk/run on the treadmills to power the video that tells these women’s stories on the curved mesh projectors, or meander around the wavy installation that focuses on the past and current history of female competitive runners. We incorporated adaptive exercise equipment to ensure this exhibition was inclusive to those with disabilities. The hope for 200 BPM is that it is a space that is inspirational, educational, and accessible to the public.