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fashion

and

technology

at the college of human ecology

Clothing has an important impact on people’s comfort, their health, and even their careers. Combining apparel design with advancing technologies is an important way to improve lives and communities across the globe. Faculty, students, and staff at the College of Human Ecology are finding innovative ways to combine form and function. Their research explores the intersection of ergonomics, clothing design, and body kinetics; improves the safety of U.S. troops and firefighters; creates clothing to prevent disease and improve health; and helps us understand how globalization, technology, and sustainability influence design across the globe.


fashion

and

technology

at the college of human ecology

engaging students Matilda Ceesay, a Fiber Science & Apparel Design major who came to Cornell from the nation of Gambia, has personally witnessed the suffering caused by malaria, a disease that kills some 655,000 people in Africa each year. At Human Ecology, she had the opportunity to create a garment that can help prevent malaria infections. Working with faculty and graduate students, Ceesay designed a hooded bodysuit made of fabric embedded at the molecular level with insecticides to ward off mosquitoes infected with malaria. The garment debuted at the Cornell Fashion Collective spring fashion show as part of a broader line Ceesay created to modernize traditional African silhouettes. “I hope my design can show what is possible when you bring together fashion and science and will inspire others to keep improving the technology,” Ceesay said. Learn more at http://www.cornell.edu/portraits/matilda-ceesay/.

voices

in human ecology

Understanding how humans interact with environments Elements around us including clothing, furniture, and even the indoor air temperature have an important and often unnoticed impact on our performance. Researchers are exploring these elements simultaneously and assessing how they affect our daily lives. Ergonomics expert Alan Hedge, professor of Design and Environmental Analysis, uses a climate-controlled lab with video scanners and modeling software to investigate how stimuli affect the health and comfort of office workers, the relationship between air quality and fatigue, and how sustainable buildings influence human performance. Susan Ashdown, the Helen G. Canoyer Professor of Apparel Design in the Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design, uses 3-D body and hand scanners to improve the fit and design of functional apparel. And David Feathers, professor of Design and Environmental Analysis, studies how humans interact with products and environments. Their collaborations hold promise for better product design, enhanced working spaces, and more comfortable and functional clothing. Learn more at http://bit.ly/13A7Lw8


Protective clothing saves lives The technology of protective clothing is continually evolving, saving the lives of soldiers in the battlefield, and keeping firefighters and police officers safe. Huiju Park, assistant professor in the Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design, employs human performance testing to improve ballistic body armor, helping soldiers to move more easily and better regulate their temperature. Park is also using 3-D motion capture systems to design safer and more protective clothing for firefighters. His research has the potential to prevent injuries and save lives.

Nanotechnology: Improving lives at the micro level The smallest components of the items we use affect our comfort, our health, and the planet. Fiber scientists at Human Ecology are learning about properties of materials used in everyday items and creating new materials to improve the function of everything from air filters to clothing. Margaret Frey, associate professor of Fiber Science & Apparel Design, has developed a new process for creating polymers that improve the delivery of pesticides in agricultural settings and detects biohazards in the environment. Frey and fiber scientist Juan Hinestroza are also creating functional fibers that can monitor a wearer’s health, conduct electricity, or degrade bacteria and pollutants. Work like this is helping to revolutionize the fashion industry, improve health and safety, and change the way we think about design.


fashion

and

technology

at the college of human ecology

Building a hub for design and technology In 2013, Cornell established the Institute for Fashion and Fiber Innovation — an industry and academia consortium to cultivate advances in the fashion and textile industry through multidisciplinary collaborations. The institute brings together the leading minds in fashion design, materials science, apparel fit and performance, nanotechnology, and sustainability to influence product development in the fashion and textile industry, advance technologies, and conduct collaborative research and development. These collaborations will spur pioneering advances at the intersection of design and technology.

a broad look into the future Understanding and expanding the intersection between technology and design is an important way to develop truly innovative design solutions that improve lives. Looking toward Cornell’s 2015 sesquicentennial, now more than ever, support for this type of interdisciplinary work is essential. With a plan in place to recruit more faculty, staff, and students, high-impact collaborative research will continue to yield important knowledge — fostering innovative research and revolutionary discoveries to improve life for all. You can find more information about the university’s campaign to support these efforts — called Cornell Now — at http://now.cornell.edu/.

Improving lives by exploring and shaping human connections to natural, social, and built environments www.human.cornell.edu 2014.06.02 Issue

Fashion and Technology  

Technology is part of every aspect of our lives. It impacts how we combat disease and how we work; it infl uences the clothing we wear and o...

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