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College of Design

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

NASA: Prototyping

Its NASA time, everyone! We've finally moved on from the initial research phase to the prototyping phase. My group is very excited! We have split up our work into three sections, each to be completed by one group member. In our program here at the University a lot of the research work you do is in groups. This is great because you get to see a problem from all angles, and come up with a ton more solutions than you would be able to do on your own. It also is a way to split up research into smaller, more focused parts so you get to concentrate on what you really are interested in.

Our group is testing different types of conductive thread, yarn and fasteners. We also are making two separate initial prototypes to test mobility and comfort of the entire suit. And finally we will be testing ideal positioning and location of the actual conductive swatches on the suit. We will be testing our prototypes on a few volunteers, interviewing them on their range of motion, access to the swatches and general comfort.

Here is a photo of my initial prototype that I worked on this Saturday:


The prototype I made (above) has two different types of joints at the shoulders. I created these from manipulating pattern pieces (you will learn about pattern manipulation in Studio II) The zipper down the front will be the "switch" completing the entire circuit. The shorts are removable via the zips around the torso. We are planning on testing this and our other prototypes over and the week after spring break, more on the results then!

Lucie, Apparel Design