To Joanna Berzowska her work through the last 15 years with wearables and smart-textiles is fusing the possibilities of textiles and technology.
In her TEDxTalk from 15th of February she shares her thoughts on the future.
This opens great potentials within solving some of the future challenges we face today in e.g. healthcare, the social sector, sustainability etc.
Can wearable technology help us face these challenges – and how do we design around these, to create wearables that are usable, empathic and personal?
That is what I am interested in. Especially the emotional relationship – between us and the technology Berzowska predicts will be the future of everything. My approach is to look into all ready existing accessories, to understand personal preferences and aspects of identity. I want to create a design methodology to combine an accessory way of thinking with wearable health technology to benefit citizens with a specific need.
Right now I am studying this at Nottingham Trent University with the supervision of Sarah Kettley who is a great part of the project an Internet of Soft Things. Together with psychotherapists, computational scientists, textile designers and citizens using the services at Mind – a charity promoting better mental health, they look at possibilities within smart textiles and wellbeing. That is an interesting mix – and of course contains a lot of complexity. My aim is to look at the challenges in combining multidisciplinary methods and approaches as a response to solve mental health issues.
The cover image of this post is a prototype made at one of the projects workshops at Mind. In this case it is an ear band to prevent cold weather. The prototype is made together with one of the citizens at Mind in Worksop, a smaller English city – that I also had the opportunity to visit during my stay. Connecting the ear band with technology can be a problem solving solution to help citizens with mental health issues to manage challenges they face in every day life.
Working together with Sarah and the rest of the group, I will hopefully turn my research findings into a paper for the International Symposium on Wearable Computers ISWC conference in Heidelberg, Germany due the 16th of April. Fingers crossed!