Summer Program Structure & Schedule

Give me a 160 word summary of the OSL 2018 Summer Program:

Open Style Lab’s ten-week interdisciplinary research program teams designers, engineers, and occupational therapists to create  wearable solutions with and for clients with disabilities. Teams will be given resources to carry out user studies in their client’s daily physical and social contexts, then fabricate and test prototypes with their clients. By the end of the program, each team will be required to produce a garment that thoughtfully uses technology and purposeful aesthetics to meet their client’s need. 

What are we making and researching on? 

Open Style Lab aims to pave the way for socially conscious, user-centered design in wearable technology. We know that the technology exists not just to help healthy people to track how healthy they are, but truly address existing health and wellness needs. Our 2018 program will explore the complexity of the dressing experience that address aging and disability. 

The act of wearing can be examined through a variety of methods at the intersection between fashion and technology. Mobility is essential to maintaining an independent lifestyle of all abilities. We will explore materials, designs, and technologies that enable people to complete an activity with style. Emphasis will be centered on discovering common wearable challenges that bridge the aging community with PWD to identify universal design solutions. Fellows will be challenged to integrate seasonal fashion trends, garment construction, and technologies (particularly AR + 3D printing).

How many participants will be chosen?

18-24 participants, totaling four or five  teams; Each team will comprise a designer, engineer and occupational therapist with mentors from past fellowships.

Who is eligible to apply?

Current design, engineering and occupational therapy students, or recent graduates (up to 4 years post-graduation) are eligible. Following are specific eligibility requirements for each participant category:

  • Engineers: Must be able to work with wearables or body-related designs using one or more of the following technologies:
    (1) AR experience; Unity
    (2) Mobile Development, need to know how to use Github, XCode, HTML, JS
    (3) 3D printing & 3D modeling – some product design experience is plus.
  • Designers: Garment construction experience with experience in wearable technology OR a deep understanding of materials with the one of the following skills:
    (1) 3D printing skills
    (2) Material sciences knowledge with some fashion experience particularly garment construction.
    (3) Clo or experience with Industrial machines (Shima Machine)

    (4) Motion graphics – Unity, Maya, After Effects(video)

  • Occupational/ Physical therapists: each fellow needs to have robust list of clinical experience and volunteer. A speciality in aging, dexterity, or paralysis is desired. Desire or work that reflects the arts, design, or engineering are welcome such as skills in sketching, prototyping, building etc. Any experience with web accessibility or user testing for questions regarding the usage of smartphones or web devices.
  • All fellows must have at least 1 year of work experience in their field and be able to commute to Manhattan, New York. Engineer and Design Fellows will be asked to share a portfolio & CV.

What is the time commitment for OSL 2018?

This year’s program runs every Saturday, 9:30am-6pm, from June 8-Aug 18, 2018. Participants are expected to be present every Saturday from 9:30-6:00pm during the program at the lab or at the rehab center. Additionally, you can expect 15 hours of team work outside of the core Saturday programming. Fellows applying should consider:

  • Expected trips to the rehab center during weekdays.One weekday will be a designated Rehab trip day open to fellows to meet their clients each week
  • Intensive workshops during the weekdays offered, specially in June.

Where does OSL 2018 summer happen?

New York City. Parsons School of Design. 

Is there an application fee?

Nope! However, if you are accepted to the program, there will be a $45 application fee to confirm your participation. 

What resources are provided to participants?

The bulk of our program’s costs are generously funded by donors and sponsors. The space is equipped with a fablab with laser cutters (different building), 3D printers, soldering stations etc., Open Style Lab will further provide a station, and standard dressmaking equipment and supplies, e.g. industrial stitchers, dress forms, muslin etc. Each team is also provided with a $500 to spend on project-specific supplies at their discretion. In addition, functional fabrics, unique technologies, and materials particularly provided to this program will be given to all teams.

For more information, please email us! Applications close on March 17 (SAT).

What can I expect from for 10-weeks? 

Forming Teams & Brainstorming with the Client

Program Timeline: Weeks 1, 2 and 3

Client and student teams will be matched based on student preferences and skills. Students will survey accessible apparel, learn to evaluate clients’ needs from OT, design and engineering perspectives, and visited clients at home to define their project scope.

Identifying Design

Opportunities Centered around OSL Research

Program Timeline: Weeks 4, 6 and 8

Guest lectures and mentoring sessions help frame each team’s decision making process. (ex- experts in fields of universal design, assistive technology, material sciences, or therapy). Fellows will be asked to create solutions in the frame of two research goals related to aging and disability.

Fabrication, Construction, and Testing Action-able Research Questions

Program Timeline: Weeks 5,7 and 9

OSL offers a collaborative space for hands-on prototyping with fabrication tools, industrial sewing machines, laser cutters, 3D printers, wood-shop, printmaking center, and some storage space. Fellows will be able to utilize a space to test prototypes with clients inside and outside the facilities.

Final Public Showcase

Program Timeline: Week 10

A final showcase will be open to the public with select guests, media, and experts from industry to inclusively engage with the community. Students may be invited to present final designs at platforms. Past such platforms include: MIT Museum, Museum of Science, Boston, Makerfaire-New York, and DisArt Festival.

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Our Sponsors 2017

Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundations

Our Partners 2017

Parsons School of Design
MIT Museum
The Boston Museum of Science