Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Before working on this vest, I have never worked on a piece of clothing that incorporates technology. Sewing a well fitted vest is already enough of a conceptual exercise for me, so working with all the circuitry needed for the vest presented quite the challenge. To tell the truth, I was a bit intimidated when I saw all the wires, boards, and numerous parts that made up the functional parts of this project. However, once I started planning the design of the vest, I was more excited than anything else.

The placement of parts was not as hard as I thought it would be, especially since we went from twenty individual vibrating pads to twelve coupled vibrating pads. I designed the vest based on one of my own patterns. I added additional inside pockets, eyelets for the wires to pass through the lining, and adjustable bands around the back. I was able to complete the outer vest and lining separately before I was handed all the tech parts. After most of the wires had been soldered to the boards, I was able to start sewing the parts down to the lining fabric. The lilypad, lipower, usb connection board, and all twelve vibe boards were sewn on by hand.

Constructing the strip carrying the vibe boards was the first priority. I decided to use an interfaced cotton for the outer shell and a headliner foam for the inside for cushiony support. I attached velcro to the back vest liner so that the strip could be easily removed. The lilypad was placed on the back below the left shoulder so that the wires would remain relatively short between the lilypad and the vibe boards. The battery and lipower fit well in one of the front pockets with wires running from the lipower out one of the eyelets in the pocket liner, around the waist of the jacket, and up to the lilypad.

Once everything was sewn down, I completed the vest like I would a normal piece of clothing. The sewing was a little more difficult since I had to be extra careful in order to avoid machine sewing or ironing wires and parts. When the project started to resemble the likes of a vest, only then did I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am grateful that I was able to work with such a talented team of engineers on this garment. For me, one of the hardest challenges of the vest was keeping the design from being taken over by the technology. Now that the vest is near complete, I think my design sensibility prevailed while most of the parts were kept hidden. Although this competition was geared toward the deaf community, I think anyone could enjoy wearing this one-of-a-kind garment

-Stewie

38 comments:

  1. April 17, 2009



    Dear Robert Alexander, Chris Connover, Rishi Daftuar, Stewart Randolph and Matt Rose,

    I would really like one or two of you to be on my TV program, (Disability Concerns, Community Television Network [CTN], in Ann Arbor Channel 17) on Thursday 04/23/2009 from 3:00PM to 3:30PM. You should arrive at 2:30PM. It will be a live program.

    I’m looking forward to talking about your award-winning “Thumping Threads”. It will be a great follow-up to Sean Forbes’ and Prof. Zurbuchen’s recent appearance that announced the “Feel the Music” contest.

    Past guests have included Joyce Nelson, President and CEO of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Frank Ascione, Dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Michigan, Phillip Zazove, MD, Director of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan, Jody Burton-Slowins MSW, Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Support Group at the Center for Independent Living in Ann Arbor, Peg Ball, MA, Life Coach in the State of Michigan, Carolyn Grawi, Director of Advocacy and Education at the Center for Independent Living in Ann Arbor, Barbara Niess of Share House (domestic violence) , a University of Michigan medical researcher specializing in stem-cell research, Gerry (and husband Dave) Meadows, Director of the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Physically Handicapped (their words), Petra Kuppers, PhD artist specializing in disability culture, Judy Stone CN, MSW nutritionist and author, Dr. William Thatcher, Chiropractor with special accommodations for people with disabilities, Dr. J. Silva-Goncalves, EdD, from the Eastern Michigan University Office for Students with Disabilities, Peter A Ubel, MD, author and Director of the Center for Behavioral and Decision Sciences in Medicine, Cindy Keller, ms survivor and recipient of nationally recognized medical breakthrough hip replacement surgery, Thomas Zurbuchen, PhD, Professor of Space Science and Aerospace Engineering, Sean Forbes, of D-PAN (Deaf Performing Artists Network, to name a few.

    CTN is located at the Eisenhower Corporate Park, 2805 S Industrial
    Ste 200 in Ann Arbor, Michigan (South Industrial and Eisenhower) 734-769-7422. Contact person is Lucy Visovatti and/or myself.
    Please call or e-mail me.








    Sincerely,
    Tom Bayer
    from the desk of....
    Thomas Bayer
    Advocate for Disability Concerns

    3078 Chelsea Circle
    Ann Arbor, MI 48108
    Home: (734) 926-1281
    E-mail: tbayer@comcast.net
    www.disabilityconcerns.us

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  2. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.............................................

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  3. 如果相遇.你會感到相知.那麼.有一種習慣叫做陪伴;如果陪伴.你會感到珍惜.那麼.有一種甜蜜叫做存在!........................................

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  4. pleasure to find such a good artical! please keep update!! ........................................

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  5. 讚啦!!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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  6. 生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。......................................................................

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  7. 卡爾.桑得柏:「除非先有夢,否則一切皆不成。」共勉!............................................................

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  8. 愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。......................................................................

    ReplyDelete
  9. Judge not a book by its cover.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    ReplyDelete