The idea of harnessing the energy output of exercisers to create usable power from burnt calories fascinates me, like using an indoor bike trainer to charge a battery. When I saw images of the River Gym, a human-powered commuter ferry powered by gym users, I was mesmerized.
Architect Mitchell Joachim teamed up with personal trainer Douglas Joachim to create the Human Powered Floating Gym. Although this concept was created for the waters around the isle of Manhattan, I think a floating gym could work on any body of water. Designed with a specific 15-minute looping path, each floating gym pod moves gym members to different destinations, creating a completely new form of mass transit. I would love it if my hour spin class could help power a trip across the San Francisco Bay. Sadly this design only came in third place in the 2005 Design a Gym contest sponsored by New York magazine, but that was before gas prices were in the four-dollar range. I am loving this idea and have hope that the gyms of the future will be able to capture our energy output and put it to good use.
For more images and the routes of the human-powered gym, visit Archinode.