Yonsei University Workshop: Fashion & Technology

After teaching at Parsons Boot Camp and three wearable tech workshop courses last year, I have learned that there are many paths to take when working at the intersection of fashion and technology. Cultural and social influences dramatically influence the work that is produced in this field.

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Most recently, the Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea had generously invited me to host a 2-day workshop and lecture on fashion and technology to 16 students from fashion, textile, and engineering. Once I arrived on campus, I prepared materials for students read and work. The first day, I gave a lecture on user experience as a crucial factor to the development of fashionable wearable technology and shared case studies from Open Style Lab as well as my own thesis work at Parsons. The objective of the workshop was to not only to share my experiences, but focus on clothing closures as a domain for applying user-centered wearable technology.

Students used conductive fabric, thread, muslin, 3V batteries, and was provided a sewing machine to create zipper closures using LEDs. The second day, the students were briefly introduced to Arduino applications and development of user scenarios. The students were quickly adapted concepts of Arudino and physical computing, but had difficulty asking questions to develop ideations.

So, I assigned all workshop participants into four break-out groups to discuss the question: “What are the pressing or insightful questions for wearable technology today?” Students were instructed to host a wide-ranging discussion in their groups and to report back at the end of the hour with topic discussions.

Despite my passionate speech on the possibilities of wearable technology, the collaborative experience between the students was the most important takeaway of the workshop. I learned from this experience that tools and resources are necessary to help develop student curiosity, but the exchange of ideas and thoughts between each student are essential for any workshop experience.