Fall 2016 - Open Style Lab
Open Style Lab’s interdisciplinary research program, centers around socially conscious, user-centered designs in wearable technology for clients with disabilities. Designing from cross-disciplinary perspectives, allows for an increased emphasis on the inclusion of people with disabilities and designing solutions for people of all abilities. As a team comprised of a fashion designer and creative technologists, we focused our attention on functional aesthetics and considerate use of materials to create a wearable design solution for our client Pete Trojic.
PETE TROJIC is a 28 year old from New York City with Cerebral Palsy. He has been disabled since birth, using both a manual wheelchair (primary use) and crutches (secondary use) for mobility. Pete enjoys dancing and rock climbing. His active lifestyle in combination with his wheelchair have caused challenges when it comes to clothing and functionality.
PETE'S DAILY JOURNEY
FRICTION - Constant contact between wheels and sleeves
RANGE OF MOTION - Necessary arm movement to propel his wheelchair creates wear in the shoulder area
LACK OF STORAGE - Problematic storage of objects while operating his wheelchair
We created an adaptable jacket that protects Pete and his wheelchair from inclement weather with an emphasis on strategic storage and functional aesthetics. Our product includes an inner jacket, a raincoat, and a chair cover that provides protection for the wheelchair as well as storage. The sleek pouch attaches to the back of Pete’s chair to carry the outerwear, as well as tools used to maintain his chair and daily essentials, keeping them portable and dry.
DEVELOPING THE SOLUTION
In order to create a useful solution for Pete, it was important for us to consider not only the actual product but the context of our design. This process consisted of spending time with Pete outside of Parsons. During our time with Pete we were able to see first-hand the pressure points he experiences in his day-to-day life. As expected, the more we met with Pete, our design priorities shifted.
The iterative process allowed us to create a more meaningful solution for Pete.