Jane Mitchell
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Open Style Lab

TEAM PETE

Collaboration with Chuyi Sun, Jane Mitchell, Jon Lee, La Tricia Watford, and Taylor Rodriguez as a part of the Open Style Lab and Parsons School of Design Collaboration Course.

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ABOUT

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.

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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

OBSERVATIONS

  1. FRICTION - Constant contact between wheels and sleeves
  2. RANGE OF MOTION - Necessary arm movement to propel his wheelchair creates wear in the shoulder area 
  3. LACK OF STORAGE - Problematic storage of objects while operating his wheelchair

OUR SOLUTION

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 for the raincoat.

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.

DESIGN REQUIREMENTS

PROTOTYPING

The iterative process allowed us to create a more meaningful solution for Pete.