glove

Our Project

We are developing a kit prototype created from ethically and sustainability vetted components and parts facilitating the creation of made-to-measure wearables for people with physical disabilities. This kit will be made available to a network of designers, fabricators and community centres through this web portal along with informational and support services.

Our Story

This is a continuation of Lara Grant’s and Anna Blumenkranz’s  collaborations with students in San Francisco and Munich creating wearable interfaces for people with disabilities. These included a remote control, mouse, a glove that triggers sound and a colour-recognition glove for visually impaired. These prototypes were designed through an iterative participatory design process at community centers where they were tested with each participant.

Informed by these initial successful projects, we are continuing this process to develop interfaces for people with physical disabilities. With support of the WEAR Sustain initiative, Adrian Freed was added to the team to lend his expertise in ethical and sustainable research and innovative development, and provide ongoing technical advice to Anna and Lara on materials, hardware, software, and process.

Meet the Team

Anna is an e-textile designer, educator and author based in Munich. Since 2012, Anna has been conceptualising and running practice-based courses around Wearables and Creative Technologies.

Lara is a designer and fabricator of interactive works that often include e-textiles and wearable electronics. She holds a BA in fashion design and an MPS from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) focused in physical computing and wearable and soft electronics

Adrian is a computer scientist and electronics engineer who recently studied philosophy, ethics and collaborative and inclusive design at the graduate level. He created many pioneering e-textile input devices and his large library of e-textile materials catalyzed early successes of the pioneers of fabric-based wearables.

Support

The FlexAbility team has had a lot of support during their prototyping and information gathering that has informed designs, future and present. Mentors, advisors, and participants who have given interviews and who have tested prototypes.

Melissa Coleman

Main mentor during the WEAR Sustain grant program

The Pfennigparade Foundation

Participants from Pfennigparade participated in tests and gave feedback during prototyping.

Rachel Freire

Additional mentor during the WEAR Sustain grant program

Stochastic Labs

A residency program supporting the future of technology, science, entrepreneurship, and the arts.

Maurine DeCoste and Alva Gardner

For their time and support working with Lara, Adrian, and Lara's college students.

Ability Now Bay Area

Participants from Pfennigparade participated in tests and gave feedback during prototyping.