Fast Company "MIT's Next Breakthrough Interface? Temporary Tattoos"

Super happy to see Cindy Kao of the Media Lab, and our Techstyle wearables group there making huge strides with her awesome work, and in collaboration with our friends at Microsoft too!  Wearables are a small world indeed!  (Fastco Article)

MIT's Next Breakthrough Interface? Temporary Tattoos

Inspired by popular gold leaf temporary tattoos, MIT Media Lab and Microsoft Research teamed up on a crafty new wearable interface.

Mark Wilson 08.12.16 7:00 AM

We’ve seen stick-on circuits capable of putting a phone on your finger, and while they’re certainly incredible to behold, they aren't accessible outside of world-class research labs and production lines.

But a technology called DuoSkin, by MIT Media Lab and Microsoft Research, could enable anyone to create custom, wearable circuits—and apply them as easily as a temporary gold leaf tattoo. And not in 10 or 20 years, but using craft store materials, today. In a new paper being presented at the International Symposium on Wearable Computers next month, the research team details how you can shape circuits using any graphic design software, cut the pattern out of a sandwich of tattoo paper and vinyl, and then coat that vinyl with gold leaf. Not only is gold leaf en vogue, as far as temporary tattoos go; gold leaf also makes the tattoo conductive to electricity, and your touch.


The result is an impossibly thin temporary tattoo that’s applied to your skin with a wet wash cloth like any other. Once there, it’s capable of adding to your body touch pads, buttons, personal radio IDs, or even glowing LED displays. The DuoSkin tattoo can allow you to swipe and tap around your phone’s music and unlock doors or turnstiles protected by NFC. In one example, a pair of heart tattoos link up, so with the touch a button, you can change the color of the tattoo of your significant other (perhaps to signify if you were in a bad mood in the most passive aggressive way possible).

Of course, the practical uses of cheap, temporarily wearable technologies seem endless. It’s not hard to imagine the utility of such a tattoo on a patient at the hospital. Your identity could be stuck right to your body thanks to NFC technology. Even something as simple as calling the nurse could be miniaturized from a bulky remote to a thin button on your skin. And given that the team has successfully embedded heat-sensitive pigments, as well as LEDs, these tattoos could be specialized to signal all sorts of issues to health care providers.

Then again, if the context of health care doesn't sound terribly exciting, there’s always Coachella. Really! Because while that may sound snarky, enabling such a wide swath of use cases is really the point of the whole project.

"It is our vision that future on-skin electronics will no longer be black-boxed and mystified; but they will converge toward user friendliness, extensibility, and aesthetics of body decorations," the paper concludes, "forming a DuoSkin integrated to an extent it has seemingly disappeared."

[All Images: courtesy MIT Media Lab]

Critical Tools for the Tech Enabled Designer

Tobias van Schneider's Medium article "My Top 11 essential tools I could not live without" is an absolute must read toolkit of efficiency, design, enjoyable and just cool apps and tech tools to make work, particularly remote and online work more enjoyable and fluid. 

This article "The 5 Best Apps For Freelance Designers; Manage your email, time, money, daily tasks, and legal documents better with these (nicely designed) digital tools" is also great, whether for freelance designers or just those of us seeking more order in the overwhelming noise!

I highly highly recommend checking out Tobias's site itself as well, van where the multi talented self taunt former creative lead of Spotify explores so many ideas which resonant deeply, learned through experience, creative inspiration through audio shows, newsletters, and more.  Awesome multi-hyphenate designer carving his own arc.

Data Driven Apparel in Rio, New Balance

As is so often the case with innovation, there is a long (long!) research and development process and sometimes and even longer runway to the public reveal, through the entire duration of which designers and researchers in our field cannot discuss their work, with varying levels of secrecy. 

So I am thrilled to see the Data Driven Training Knit which we developed and designed back in 2013 appear in preparation for the Olympics in Rio.  The tops are a part the New Balance Elite kit, as well as Team Ireland and New Zealand's kit.  Epic NB sprinter Trayvon Bromell wears it here in Rome.

We spent hundreds of hours planning & designing, researching the elite body, gathering thermal data, aggregating that data points, and translating them into the round for knit production.  It was an intensive process for an elegant simple looking product, but then that is good design, and it was a pleasure to be a part of a great team.

To visualize New Balance’s unique “data to design” architecture, Aggressive designed a futuristic test lab, where data-driven runners’ foot-strikes drive the creation of the midsoles in real time. Credits Production Co: Aggressive Client: New Balance Agency: Arnold Worldwide Directors: Alex Topaller, Dan Shapiro Producer: Kelvin Craver Creative Director: Alex Mikhaylov CG Supervisor: Max Chelyadnikov Edit: Alex Mikhaylov, Max Chelyadnikov, Dan Shapiro, Adam Thomson Design: Alex Mikhaylov, Andrey Krasavin 2D Animation: Andrey Krasavin, Federico Gonzalez, Dan Shapiro Modelling: E.D.Satan, Evaldas Cesnavicius Texturing: E.D.Satan, Konstantin Zankov Animation: Dmitriy Paukov, Max Chelyadnikov Simulation: Dmitriy Paukov Rendering: Max Chelyadnikov Compositing: Max Chelyadnikov, Dan Shapiro, Storyboard Artist: Rolo Ledesma Production Manager: Dustin Pownall Sound Design: Wesley Slover

Fashion Innovation Alliance in DC

It was a pleasure to be a part of the Fashion Innovation Alliance's first visits to members of the Senate and Congress to discuss the intersection of fashion and technology, and begin the process of educating the government about the opportunities, future and benefits of supporting the growth of this industry with vast potential.

I was happy to speak on behalf of Manufacture NY who I work with and all of the industry itself, including other AFFOA partners who I now consult with as well as this is a critical and thrilling time for apparel technology innovation.

L-R Amanda Curtis founder of 19th Amendment, Jing Zhou founder of E lemoon, Deborah Alden of the Brooklyn Accelerator, Sumeet Shah VC at Brand Foundry, Maddy Maxey Founder of Crated, Susan Scalfidi founder of the Fordham Fashion Law Institute, Rob Sanchez and Marc Raco of the Fashion is Your Business podcast and Kenya Wiley founder of the Fashion Innovation Alliance

"We are bringing fashion tech — the latest wearables, smart apparel and fashion apps — to the United States Capitol at Fashion + Tech Showcase 2016. Our inaugural showcase is an opportunity for Washington policymakers to engage with the fashion tech community and learn more about the economic benefits and social value of fashion tech. Technology is spurring a fashion revolution and our stakeholders across the fashion tech spectrum — from start-ups to corporations, from investors to advocates, from academics to students — will all play a significant role in shaping the future of fashion tech.” -Kendra Wiley

STRUKTUR-the conference for active, outdoor and urban design

Very excited to be speaking at Struktur, if you are in the athletic or outdoor industry absolutely join us for an awesome 3 days in Portland!

About Struktur Event

Struktur is the first creative conference for the active outdoor design industry. Join us for three days of bold visionary presentations and events advancing the design of active outdoor apparel and equipment.

Struktur is a cross-disciplinary event, exploring the intersection of user experience, trend research, materials science, and their influence on design. Struktur isn’t a fashion show or a trade show – it’s a chance to experience the breakthrough ideas of a new age of design.

May 4-6, 2016, Portland Oregon

SXStyle Speaker Brunch Hosted by 'Austin Way'

I was very pleased be a panelist at SXSW Interactive 2016 ...

March 12, 2016

Austin Way hosted the official SXStyle Speaker Brunch welcoming the innovators of the style world with a beautifully curated brunch on March 12, 2016. The festival’s top style panelists gathered at LACQUER salon in the Second Street District to kick off the 30th anniversary of SXSW. Liberty Kitchen treated guests to an elaborate spread of gourmet brunch items as Sourced whipped up hot pink hibiscus French 75s. Guests were treated to make-up touch ups by RIMIX cosmetics and polish changes by the LACQUER technicians who wore the newly released Wise Wear fashionable tech bracelets. Stunning spring fashion trends of Rare Trends, Kelly Wynne, Beaded by W and Saint Bernard Sports were on display and Gypsy foral adorned the salon with elegant and whimsical floral arrangements that highlighted the always perfectly curated Panacea Collection vignettes.

"Upstarts Series - Lucy McRae" article in Wired UK Magazine


Bruno Giussani x Lucy McRae

18 DEC 15

Upstarts is a series in which key figures from The WIRED 100 list of digital powerbrokers nominate individuals they feel will make a huge impact on people's lives, through digital projects.

What will the human body be like in the future? That's a question being probed by Lucy McRae, an artist and body architect whose work explores themes of space travel, human augmentation, survival and adaptation.

McRae has been chosen by Bruno Giussani, European director of TED to feature in the WIRED / Intel Upstarts series, as she represents a shift in digital innovation in his eyes.

"What attracts me about Lucy's work is that she responds to the challenges of a complex world and a complex future by exploring and probing it through a variety of tools," says Giussani.

The future-gazing work of artist and body architect Lucy McRae

"I'm very interested in human performance, the human condition and looking at it through a science fiction lens of how we may evolve as humans in the future," says McRae. "I start to think about all of the potential problems that may arise, and from the point of view of an artist, how can I interpret those stories and invent solutions?"

Her current body of work, entitled The Future Day Spa, envisages the spa of tomorrow in which the tools and processes of the facility help the human form cope with the conditions of living in space. Note to your future self: it'll almost certainly involve vacuum packing.

Tangible Media Teams Biological Actuator for Apparel - Biologic

I was thrilled bye the final product of the multi year Biologic project run by an extraordinarily talented team of graduates, primarily envisioned by Lining Yao, out of Hiroshi's team at the Media Lab. I had the opportunity to see the project throughout because of my role as New Balance liaison, and ideate together with the team, while working on thermal body mapping and cooling explorations as my own team worked towards the research, development and design of "Data to Design" project for the 2016 Rio Olympic uniforms for New Balance. 
We also had the pleasure of exhibiting Biologic in the Fashion 4wrd show September 15th at the Boston MFA.

Congrats to the whole team, I look forwards to seeing where the team takes this brilliant biological actuator next!

FastCo Design "The Most Important Design Jobs Of The Future"

This FastCo article compiled by Suzanne LaBarre is a phenomenal call out of the diversity of jobs growing out of the rapidly changing design industry, even now, I would argue.  I feel that the Fusionist Designer Role describes exactly the approach, process and value I bring as a designer.  Thank you!!!!

Designers at Google, Microsoft, Autodesk, Ideo, Artefact, Teague, Lunar, Huge, New Deal, and fuseproject predict 18 new design jobs.

Yesterday's graphic designers are today's UX designers. Will tomorrow's UX designers will be avatar programmers, fusionists, and artificial organ designers? Yes, according to the illustrious roster of design leaders we spoke with here.

Design has matured from a largely stylistic endeavor to a field tasked with solving thorny technological and social problems, an evolution that will accelerate as companies enlist designers for increasingly complex opportunities, from self-driving cars to human biology. "Over the next five years, design as a profession will continue to evolve into a hybrid industry that is considered as much technical as it is creative," says Dave Miller, a recruiter at the design consultancy Artefact. "A new wave of designers formally educated in human-centered design—taught to weave together research, interaction, visual and code to solve incredibly gnarly 21st-century problems—will move into leadership positions. They will push the industry to new heights of sophistication."

Fusionist - Nominated by Asta Roseway, principal research designer, Microsoft Research
Early technology was, in its most basic form, like a huge block of ice: not very accessible, clunky, and necessitating specialists to handle. Now as technology melts, it will transform from solid to liquid to gas, permeating almost every aspect of our lives and creating a cross-disciplinary opportunities. Such diffusion will become the foundation for future design jobs. The designer’s role therefore will be to act as the "fusion" between art, engineering, research, and science. Her ability to think critically while working seamlessly across disciplines, blending together their best aspect, is what will make her a "Fusionist."

While still expertly versed in classical design skills, the fusionist will mix those skills with a "generalist" approach to technology, working across disciplines and interest groups. In many cases, the fusionist may feel like an outlier. The technologies she bridges will require her to expand her own capacities. She’ll need to be an expert collaborator and communicator, extending her vocabulary so that she can reverse engineer her vision into discrete items that specialists can act upon. The Fusionist will remain driven by her passion for the Future and her ability to use Design as the unifying vehicle to drive the best experience.

The global challenges that lie ahead can only be solved by a collaboration of minds and vocations, and a diversity of views. The challenge and reward for the Fusionist will be in her ability to communicate, comprehend, and connect all parties through design. This is already beginning to happen in the emerging fields of biofabrication and wearable technology. Stemming from biotech, biofabrication is a new cross disciplinary movement between the design and science that is generating the next wave of sustainable materials and solutions for our survival. It is not uncommon to see artists and biologists sitting together tackling the same problem. Additionally, wearable technology will see an influx of fashion designers and artists partnered with engineers, in order to create technologies that will go into our fibers and onto our skin. Fusionists will act as the bridges between emerging fields, and their ability to bring all parties together through communication and design will help bring about the greatest experiences.

Met Gala 2016, Manus x Machina, Fashion in the Age of Technology

The 2016 Met Gala Theme Is Announced! Fashion in an Age of Technology
October 13, 2015
by Patricia Garcia for Vogue

Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Fall 2013

On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced the new theme for next year’s Costume institute exhibition: “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.” The upcoming exhibition will focus on the dichotomy between handmade haute couture and machine-made fashion. “Traditionally, the distinction between the haute couture and prêt-à-porter was based on the handmade and the machine-made,” explains Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute. “But recently this distinction has become increasingly blurred as both disciplines have embraced the practices and techniques of the other.”

Hussein Chalayan, Spring 2007
Photo: Catwalking / Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The show will feature more than 100 pieces of fashion, both haute couture and ready-to-wear. Several handmade couture items, featuring techniques such as embroidery, pleating, and lacework, will be juxtaposed with machine-made designs showcasing new technologies like laser cutting, thermo shaping, and circular knitting. The exhibition will also have several “in process” workshops, including3-D printing, in which the public will be able to see these designs take shape.

The museum also announced the 2016 Met Gala will take place on Monday, May 2 and will be hosted by cochairs Idris Elba, Jonathan Ive, Taylor Swift, and Anna Wintour. Nicolas Ghesquière, Karl Lagerfeld, and Miuccia Prada will serve as honorary chairs, and the gala and accompanying exhibition will be sponsored by Apple.