The TEK-TILES 2017 project focused on developing ideas for embedding and manufacturing technology into apparel and textiles.

This ongoing project has brought together a diverse R&D teams of  “Masterminds” to work alongside the BF+DA’s Apparel Production team to invent products that integrate technology into smart garments and functional textiles. The inaugural design sprint in 2017 yielded 20 TEK-TILES that focused on solution-finding using computerized knitting. The team created switches, potentiometers, gesture-sensing surfaces, optical structures, bio-data collectors and sustainable yarns. The TEK-TILES have been displayed in numerous exhibitions and are will soon be included in the Material Connexion Innovation library.


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The BF+DA Launches TEK-TILES
The BF+DA’s TEK-TILES Team Creates 30 Smart Textiles
Queens College Art Center Presents: ‘Fabric of Cultures’


Tek-Tiles Team

Mireia Lopez

Mireia Lopez is the founder and creative force behind the brand and collaborative guerrilla studio Milo Tricot.

Mireia Lopez was brought up in Barcelona, Spain. Being a designer was an organic process, having grown up in her family’s manufacturing business, she learned how to manipulate fabric and operate industrial machines at a very early age.

After graduating from Felicidad Duce (LCI) in the Arts and Techniques of fashion in Barcelona, she was recruited by Mango in the early 90s, and within a few years she became Mango’s designer and a key member of the creative team at a time when the company was riding high on the success of the new brand image and the expansion of more than 200 stores worldwide. Her career took her to a different path from there, spending the next twenty 25 years working for some of the fashion industry’s leading brands and retailers in Europe and in the United States, as well as creating innovative concepts and avant-garde knitwear collections for runway designers including Miguel Adrover, Zac Posen, Cushnie et Ochs and others.

Mireia’s creative vision and design language continues to be inspired by her intuitive perception of form, movement and functionality. As a brand creative and consultant she keeps pushing and leading the industry towards sustainability, craftsmanship and innovative production methods.

Jensin Wallace

Jensin Wallace is the Associate Technical Sweaters Designer at EILEEN FISHER, INC. As a designer at the intersection of fashion and technology Jensin Wallace works to redefine the role of materials in our lives. She is excited by innovation and likes to create for the present and shape the future. Jensin uses her creativity to design one of a kind knitted materials and garments and explores the seamless integration of technology into our everyday lifestyles .

Barbara Layne

Barbara Layne is a member of The Textiles and Materiality Cluster at The Milieux Institute for Art, Culture and Technology at Concordia University in Montreal. Her practice is concerned with the creative potential of cloth and how to activate communication between people, their clothing and the places they inhabit. She is the director of Studio subTela where she works with graduate students from Fine Arts and Engineering and careful attention is given to hand crafting as well as content and meaning.

Layne lectures and exhibits internationally, recently at The Subtle Technologies Festival in Toronto, at Columbia University (NYC), and The Museo Textil de Oaxaca, Mexico. Her work is sponsored by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec. She received the Concordia University Research Award for Technology, Industry and the Environment.

Despina Papadopoulos

Despina Papadopoulos is the founder of Principled Design, a systems design and strategy studio specializing in wearable technologies, building prototypes, and working with organizations to introduce innovation at the intersection of social structure and technological possibility. She works closely with both technology and apparel companies on the integration of electronics and helps them identify opportunities to disrupt the supply chain.
A leader in the wearable technology and e-textiles world, Despina developed her first “wearable” in 1995 as part of her MA thesis project at NYU’s graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program.  Since then she has developed a wide range of wearable technology projects and solutions, including mBracelet for NCR (which presaged e-payments), fabrickit (an open source modular system that facilitates the construction of wearable projects). She also developed click sneaks, love&hug jackets, and day-for-night (an homage to Paco Rabanne).

Despina is a professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and founding faculty at SVA’s MFA in Design for Social Innovation Program. Despina has lectured internationally on the relationship between design, technology and ethics, including at CHI, Tate Modern, Smart Fabrics, the Jan Van Eyck Academy and the Ivrea Interaction Design Institute. Her work has been featured in publications around the world and exhibited in major museum shows, including the V&A in London, the Holon Design Museum in Holon, Israel, the Walker Art Center in Minnesota.

Erin Hoover

Erin Hoover is currently an independent Design & Branding consultant. She launched her company, Erin Hoover Co, in early 2017 after 11 years as Vice President, Global Brand Design at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. In this role, she was the leader of cross-functional design teams responsible for branded interior design direction for Starwood’s three full service brands. Hoover and her team created global concepts for guest rooms, public spaces, brand partnerships, marketing events and other key elements for Westin, Sheraton and Le Meridien. The concepts created by Hoover and her team were part of Starwood’s innovative approach to lifestyle brands that redefined the hospitality industry.

Prior to joining Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Hoover worked in-house at Giorgio Armani Corporation from 1995-2004, directing visual merchandising and display and store design for Emporio Armani, Armani Collezioni, Armani Casa and Giorgio Armani brands. Hoover consulted for other brands including Calvin Klein, Edwin Schlossberg, and Polo Ralph Lauren on store design projects from 2004-2006. Her wide range of experience, from designing textiles and exhibitions to visual merchandising and display, store design, nightclubs and hotels transcends industries and categories: Hoover’s unique career path shapes her design perspective and continues to inspire her as a design expert, leader and innovator.

Jacob Lemon

Jacob Lemon is driven by social equity and justice and believes that the privilege to be in the field of research and design must be intertwined to address social well-being. Jacob is also interested in how design can and should ethically impact not just the  system but also the individual. While attending Pratt Institute studying Industrial Design he has worked on giving emotional attachments back to amputees and prosthetics, as well as an exo-suit to aid lifting debris in the Syrian crisis.

Aaron Nesser

Aaron Nesser is driven by the power of design to build more sustainable products and systems.

He works at the intersection of design, sustainability, and biology and has spent half a decade working in sustainability before moving to complete his Masters of Industrial Design at Pratt Institute. He has exhibited internationally, and speaks publicly about biology’s role in sustainable design. He is a co-founder of wearable-tech startup Remo Haptics and founding member of AlgiKnit, a bio-materials research group, where he is developing textiles made from rapidly renewable biopolymers.

Jingwen Zhu

Jingwen Zhu is a multidisciplinary designer, creative technologist and maker based in Brooklyn. She just received her master’s degree from ITP, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU and became a research resident there. Her recent work involves connected devices, wearable technology and physical interactions. She is interested in designing engaging interactions and combining traditional crafting with innovative technology.

Yuchen Zhang

Yuchen Zhang is a creative technologist who works at the intersection of fashion, design, and technology. After working professionally for several leading branding firms in New York, she left to earn her masters in Design & Technology at the Parsons School of Design. Since graduating in 2014 she has shown her technologically-enhanced fashion pieces at events around the world. She is currently a Technology fellow at the Brooklyn Fashion Design Accelerator to explore interaction design and fabrication in interactive textile.

Alexia Cohen

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Alexia Cohen received her BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in Jewelry and Metalsmithing; a program grounded in exploring ideas through making. Aside from exhibiting work in various galleries and trade shows in the US, Alexia spent five years as a Jewelry Studio Technician and a Visiting Professor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Making and experimentation often go beyond the jeweler’s bench for her; as of late the kitchen counter has seen some examples of wild fermentation through sourdough bread baking, and her hands have developed new muscles through a new found love for rock climbing and adventure.

Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman

Rebeccah is a leading expert in designing wearable technology and smart textiles. Her experience as a fashion and industrial designer, researcher, author, and professor at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn led to Interwoven Design Group where she blurs the lines between fashion and technology.  Rebeccah’s unique vision has been realized internationally; her collaborations range from start-ups to NASA. She has over 25 years of experience designing products for active sportswear, and has held positions as design director for Fila, Champion and Nike. She is founding director of the Intelligent Materials Applied Research & Innovation Lab (IMARI) at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and has lectured globally on wearable technology and smart textiles.

Laura Forlano

Laura Forlano is a writer, social scientist and design researcher. She is an Assistant Professor of Design at the Institute of Design and Affiliated Faculty in the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology where she is Director of the Critical Futures Lab. Forlano’s research is focused on the intersection between emerging technologies, material practices and the future of cities; specifically, she writes about emergent forms of work, organizing and urbanism. She is co-editor with Marcus Foth, Christine Satchell and Martin Gibbs of From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen (MIT Press 2011). She received her Ph.D. in communications from Columbia University.

Zhi-Jian Xiong

As an industrial designer, objects in dormitory spaces, including furniture, lighting fixtures and many types of accessories, have been Zhi-Jian Xiong’s major focus. Envisioning the future of design in philosophical terms stands as a source of ideas, in which she wishes to find a balance between technology and nature that would ultimately merge seamlessly.

Julian Goldman

Julian Goldman is research driven Industrial Designer with a passion for future forecasting using cutting edge materials and innovative ideas for their implementation. He believes in design that challenges us to question our reality, especially those aspects that are detrimental to humanity and the planet.

Sandra Atakora

Originally from Denmark, Sandra Atakora received a Bachelor in Technical Science with design specialization from Aalborg University. After working in digital consulting for a year in Copenhagen, she moved to Brooklyn in 2014 to pursue a Master of Industrial Design at Pratt Institute. As part of Pratt’s Global Innovation Design track, she also studied at Royal College of Art/Imperial College London, and at Keio University in Tokyo. The variety of approaches and perspectives she encountered along the way very much inform her own work in design today, where she strives for the creation of meaningful experiences, often through multidisciplinary collaborations.

Evan Huggins

Evan Huggins recently graduated from the Masters of Industrial Design program at Pratt Institute where he focused on the intersection of mechanism, aesthetic clarity, and human need. Evan was raised in a Transcendental Meditation community and retains deep roots to practices of self actualization. An avid maker and explorer, Evan has lived in Buenos Aires, San Francisco, and Jackson Hole. He currently resides in Brooklyn.

Joseph Morris

Joseph Morris is a transdisciplinary artist, educator, and rapid prototyping professional based in Brooklyn. He is a 2017 New York State Council on the Arts, Electronic Media grantee. In 2015 he was a Harvestworks New Works Resident, and recipient of Pratt Institute’s Faculty Development Grant. Morris holds an MFA in Art and Technology Studies from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and BFA in Sculpture from SUNY Purchase College. He is currently a visiting professor and rapid prototyping technician at Pratt Institute, Industrial Design, teaching classes in physical computing, prototyping, digital fabrication processes (laser cutting, 3D printing, and CNC milling), and assists students in the deployment of technology in their prototypes. He is an expert craftsman and coder who believes in the possibilities enabled through the integration of technology in the arts.

Victoria Rind

Victoria Rind is graduating in Textile Engineering at NC State University. She has done research at Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST), which does research and development on innovative, battery-free, body-powered, and wearable health monitoring systems for textiles. She has worked on developing shirts with conductive ink circuits that measure electrical signals from the heart and converts those signals into an electrocardiogram scan (EKG).  She also worked at a Makerspace for three years, where she created her own e-textile projects.

Jeremy Wood

Jeremy Wood is currently an undergraduate at Pratt Institute studying fashion design. He is interested in the craft of garment construction through an expressionist and deconstruction-inspired style. He sees clothing as providing a duality of art and design that is an experience shared across identity, culture, and class.

Maia Butterfield

Maia Butterfield is a rising senior at Lehigh University pursuing a B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering with a minor in Religion Studies. She has a passion for innovative technology and previously worked at a patent law firm as a legal assistant. She is a member of Pi Beta Phi, Dance Team, and Society of Women Engineers at Lehigh. Her interests include skiing and hiking and I hope to be able to apply these activities in my future work.