Wearable technology Workshop for SLEM

Last week I was in Vigevano at the ShoeStyle Lab (Museo Internazionale della Calzatura) to run a 3-day workshop about open source DIY soft circuit using Arduino Lilypad with SLEM students visiting Italy for some days.

SLEM is an international innovation and training institute for footwear and leather related industries and offer a 9-month program and several short courses for companies and professionals.

Students worked in groups and prototyped smart shoes using light sensors, a textile pressure sensor we crafted in the previous days and the Folded Slipper from Openwear opensource wearable collection.

At WeMake we provide a series of workshops, courses and training regarding new approaches of fashion production related to digital fabrication technologies. Drop me an email if you are interested!

Here’s some pictures of the thee days:

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Explore the complete gallery on WeMake’s flickr account.

Exchanging ideas on open fashion and tech at MeshCon: podcasts are online!

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How to reap the benefits of participatory production in the textile industry was the topic of the first edition of MeshCon taking place in Berlin last October from 10 to 15, 2014:

We are developing concepts and Free and Open Source technologies for fair and environment friendly production of garments and textiles at home and in the industry. MeshCon Berlin brings together industry representatives, fashion designers, pattern creators, knitters, textile manipulators, FOSS developers and DIY hardware makers. The event offers a place to exchange new ideas in personalized fashion and technologies in the garment production.

I was invited to give a talk, but I couldn’t travel in those days.
I suggest to listen to the recorded files in 13 podcasts of the event, and especially:

Empowering Users through Design – book

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I’m happy to announce that, together with Serena Cangiano, I contributed to the book  Empowering Users through Design  – Springer – with a chapter called:
Open Sourcing Wearables: the Impact of Open Technologies and User Engagement in the Design of Body-Borne Interactive Products.

Here’s the Abstract of the chapter:
Wearable technology is the “next big thing” in tech industries. Analysts forecast a consistent growth and this sector is becoming appealing to many corporations. Aim of this chapter is to present the field of wearable technology and to highlight unexplored issues generated by the relation of such technologies with the domain of proprietary versus open source businesses. If wearable technologies sell the promise of an augmented self by providing access to bio data, we can witness the emerging of a contradictory scenario: while we acquire knowledge about our bio-self through body borne devices, we also feed voluntarily a powerful data stream whose commodifcation and, subsequent marketability, represents the core element of the current business models related to internet connected services and social media platforms.

In general the book:

  • Examines the possibility of a new end-user “engagement” in ongoing digital/technological products and services development
  • Employs a cross-disciplinary research approach to explore new user roles and status
  • Analyzes recent initiatives leading to user empowerment to enable people to escape their status as “end-user/customer”

At the crossroads of various disciplines, this collective work examines the possibility of a new end-user “engagement” in ongoing digital/technological products and services development. It provides an overview of recent research specifically focused on the user’s democratic participation and empowerment. It also enables readers to better identify the main opportunities of participatory design, a concept which encourages the blurring of the role between user and designer. This allows people to escape their status as “end-user” and to elevate themselves to the level of creator.

This book explores new avenues for rethinking the processes and practices of corporate innovation in order to cope with current socio-economic and technological changes. In so doing, it aims to help companies renew industrial models that allow them to design and produce new ranges of technological products and services by giving the user an active role in the development process, far beyond the basic role of consumer.

Intended for designers, design researchers and scientists interested in innovation and technology management, this book also provides a valuable resource for professionals involved in technology-based innovation processes.

Thanks to Dr. David Bihanic for inviting to contribute.

Documentario Makers

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Prima che arrivasse WeMake ci chiamavamo WeFab e organizzavamo iniziative sui Makers a Milano: Matteo Ninni e il suo team Caterina Sarubbi e Paolo Tardugno nei primi anni della scena Maker italiana erano spesso presenti e curiosi di conoscere i dettagli di questo nuovo mondo intervistandone i suoi protagonisti. E questo documentario  ospitato dalla Nuvola del lavoro e’ il risultato che val la pena condividere.  L’intervista che mi hanno fatto si e’ tenuta presso uno degli appuntamenti di Popupmakers, insieme a Bertram Niessen.

3 minuti per parlare di Makers, Arduino Day e WeMake a Repubblica Next

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Sabato 29 Marzo, dopo aver trascorso tutto il giorno a WeMake insieme a 300 persone appassionate di Arduino, ho partecipato all’evento Next – Repubblica delle Idee, curato da Riccardo Luna.

QUi trovate una piccola intervista di accompagnamento e a breve il video dalla sala Melato del Teatro Piccolo !

Con me sono intervenuti Innocenzo Rifino di Digital Habits con Cromatica e Piero Santoro di Yradia con MEG a presentare i due progetti basati su Arduino e in partenza con le campagne di crowdfunding!

Ecco il video:

Repubblica Next – Zoe Romano

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Presentation during Wearable Futures conference in London

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Wearable Futures conference, produced by Ravensbourne and funded by The European Regional Development Fund, took place on the 10th and 11th of December 2013.

I attended the event moderating a panel and giving a short presentation around the topic of Empowerment and Wearables: