As part of our research efforts to understand wearable technology, I was brought on board to understand the role of fashion designers in the development of wearable experiences. I was involved mainly as an expert in transportation, trying to bring my perspective from a continuum of experiences and communications between devices worn and the car.
This research focused on uncovering the role of aesthetics and expression in the things people wear. Previous research conducted by my colleague, the talented researcher Ana Rosario, uncovered that these themes were recurring and very prominent, so she designed and conducted the study to dig that knowledge a bit deeper.
We set out to New York City, home of the cutting edge fashionistas of the world, and in particular, the ones exploring the role of technology on their designs. We interviewed, observed and conducted a workshop with several designers to truly understand the design space: how are fashion designers currently incorporating technology in their concepts? How are they prototyping them? Who do they collaborate with? What are their current pain points?
Ana truly took this research a step further in analyzing it and creating personas. She also had the opportunity to present it across the company, and through a clear leading voice was able to influence a current collaboration between Intel and the Council of Fashion Design of America (CFDA) that was announced at CES. I highly recommend reading from her portfolio the findings from the research.
This project was an excellent opportunity to get in the field, talk to people and gain a new perspective to expand the reach of my work. There are many elements to be learned from understanding what fashion designers are going through as they experiment with new mediums. Some can clearly be connected in the transportation world, others will mostly continue sparking my imagination!
Note: We collaborated with Sabine Seymour from Moon Dial in this project.