The t.LAB Research Fellows represent a creative community of designers, technologists, academic researchers and responsible hackers.

The t.LAB is focused on speeding the cycle of responsible innovation by building a unique community with the knowledge and production resources needed to develop and manufacture smart garments and functional fabrics. We focus on new products to improve health and well-being, worker safety, the built environment, and the creation of experimental form. Our research fellows have emerged as exceptional leaders in the field of technology-inspired apparel.

Interested in becoming a Research Fellow? Learn more and apply here.

Current T.Lab Research Fellows

Vanessa Siverls

BU Period empowers women who are underserved & underrepresented in the feminine hygiene industry, by providing sustainable lifestyle products & services. Period.

Russell Joye

Russell Joye is creating clothes that help people move more efficiently. His medical training shone a light on the difficulties experienced by movement disorders patients, and he set out to design wearables that short-circuit blocked neural pathways using tactile feedback. The simplest human movements require a symphony of systems working together as one. Similarly, constructing products that enable smooth, stable ambulation involves the marriage of engineering, design and medicine. Russell is merging collected expertise from these three disciplines to build movement solutions.

Kevin Yoo

Pratt graduate Kevin Yoo is an innovator with a background in Industrial Design. His passion for human-centric design led him to start WearWorks, which was was founded while Kevin was a post-graduate researcher at Pratt’s Digital Arts and Humanities Research Center. Kevin has built his expertise around haptic design through working with multi actuator developments, including various projects from lighting, architectural, furniture to high end wearables.

WearWorks is a design company developing products that communicate information entirely via touch. By utilizing the skin as a non-intrusive communication channel, WearWorks’ vibration-based language creates new possibilities for information communication. Through their wearable device – Wayband, a non-visual interface creates independence for the blind and visually impaired as they easily and effectively navigate the world around them.

Paige Havener

Paige Havener is an Industrial Designer interested in the intersection of technology, culture, and behavior. She is currently studying Industrial Design at Pratt, and working with WearWorks to develop a wearable haptic device for navigation. Paige brings her passion for systems design, user experience/interface design, and wearable technology to the research team.

WearWorks is a design company developing products that communicate information entirely via touch. By utilizing the skin as a non-intrusive communication channel, WearWorks’ vibration-based language creates new possibilities for information communication. Through their wearable device – Wayband, a non-visual interface creates independence for the blind and visually impaired as they easily and effectively navigate the world around them.


Daniel Moran

Daniel Moran is currently studying Fashion Design at Parsons, and working with the haptics design company WearWorks. Valuing social good, and innovation through technology and sustainability, Daniel brings her textiles and interior design knowledge to the the research team.

WearWorks is a design company developing products that communicate information entirely via touch. By utilizing the skin as a non-intrusive communication channel, WearWorks’ vibration-based language creates new possibilities for information communication. Through their wearable device – Wayband, a non-visual interface creates independence for the blind and visually impaired as they easily and effectively navigate the world around them.


T.Lab Fellow Alumni

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.

Liza Stark

Liza Stark is a designer, educator, and multi-disciplinary artist based in New York whose work explores how craft, technology, and play impact how we learn as individuals and communities.

Currently, she teaches in the MFA Design + Technology program at Parsons and is a research fellow at the t.LAB in the Brooklyn Design + Fashion Accelerator at the Pratt Institute. Past adventures include leading the community team at littleBits, designing games and playful professional development at Institute of Play, and facilitating many workshops for all sorts of people on electronics, eTextiles, des ign, and games. Her work has been shown at the International Symposium on Wearable Computers, NYCxDESIGN Week, Moulins Paillard, Maker Faire, Open Hardware Summit, CIANT, the Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interfaces Conference, and more.

She takes play very seriously, loves her sewing machine and soldering iron equally, and considers open knowledge sharing as important as breathing. She will eventually rewrite computational history from non-cis white male perspective.

Current research interests:

Personal, ethical, and privacy implications of wearable technology and data.
Sustainable eTextiles (considering material awareness, labor implications, and interventions in current consumer behaviors).
Recrafting rituals, narratives, and traditions through computationally enhanced objects.
Soft interface design and the creation of open toolkits to facilitate their development.
Electronic craft as a tool and pathway to learning programming.

Kalun Leung

Kalun Leung is a Canadian musician and composer based in NYC. As a trombonist and improvisor, he is a performing member of Little Suns, Zlatne Uste, Eco-Music Big Band,, and has toured internationally with YOA Orchestra of the Americas. He led the Salsa Montréal Collective and Trubači McGill, the latter which earned him the Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC) for his research on Balkan music in Serbia.

In 2017, he premiered his first multidisciplinary work for trombone and electronics at The Lincoln Center in collaboration with Keith Haring’s unpublished MacPaint sketches. Kalun is currently a Tek-Tiles Research Fellow at the BF+DA where he is exploring the application of smart textiles in the performing arts.

Francesca Rodriguez Sawaya

Francesca is a designer and educator, who uses her skills as a technologist and storyteller to create dialogues around topics such as culture, identity and community, either through crafting compelling narratives about socio cultural realities or developing projects that could turn into tools for empowerment. She is interested in thinking about how to create products and experiences that connect the digital and physical spaces around us, in harmony, as a way of bringing a more human approach to our digital world. She recently graduated from Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU.

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.

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.

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.

Dawn Moses

Dawn works at the intersection of human behavior, design, and technology. After more than a decade of leading projects for several renowned creative agencies and fortune 500 companies, she paused to complete a Masters of Industrial Design at Pratt Institute with a focus on Global Innovation. She has exhibited work internationally in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Currently, she is researching the application of advanced materials to help create new solutions to existing human problems. She is passionate about the potential of interactive textiles to meet the evolving demands of modern life.

Maddy Maxey

Maddy Maxey, of Loomia, has worked with companies like General Assembly, Tommy Hilfiger and Nylon Magazine. With a background in fashion and a mind for technology, Maddy is a 2013 Thiel Fellow named a “female founder to watch” by Women 2.0. Maddy speaks frequently at events such as TED, AutoDesk University and Yahoo about wearable tech and innovation.




Gian Cui

Gian Cui, wearable tech researcher for The Crated, has worked on many projects, such as Kelvin Jacket and Made with Code Dress. He loves working with entrepreneurs who have a passion for making positive changes. When he is not at The Crated, Gian wanders around other labs doing research in material application for apparel through technology and synthetic biology.


Jen Poueymirou

Concentrating in glass and ceramics, Jennifer Poueymirou received her B.F.A. from Alfred University and later her M.F.A. from Louisiana State University where she studied art and architecture. For the last fifteen years she has been working to create a balance of skill, knowledge and technical information in many mediums that include glass, paper and ceramics. She worked at Pewabic Pottery implementing large public and private commissions as well as doing all of their material testing for innovative projects. She has been an artist in residence at the Museum of Arts and Design as well as a member of the show “Adhocracy” at the New Museum working with 3-D printing and ceramics.

As a research fellow she will be combining all this past experience to bridge 3-d printing with ceramics, glass and paper.

jen poueymirou1
jen poueymirou6
jen poueymirou2
jen poueymirou4
jen poueymirou5
jen poueymirou8

Alison Tsai

Alison Tsai is a Taiwanese-born fashion and knitwear designer based in New York. Focusing on traditional craft techniques such as beading, knitting and crochet, she uses her personal point of view to develop innovative and textured materials for fashion design.

After graduating from Parsons MFA, Design of Fashion and Society in 2013, she worked for Calvin Klein Collection, DIESEL and Samsung. Her thesis collection and the latest capsule collection were broadly featured by New York based and European media.

alison tsai1
alison tsai2
alison tsai3
alison tsai4
alison tsai6
alison tsai7
alison tsai8
alison tsai9
alison tsai10

Mari Kussman

Mari Kussman has over a decade of experience working in the fashion industry. She’s produced collections for the likes of Helmut Lang and Kimberly Ovitz, rising to the position of design director at just 25 years old. Mari’s technical expertise runs deep, having tackled everything from physical computing to scent engineering.



Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman

Designer, researcher, author, Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, IDSA, is the founding principal of RPF Industrial Design. Rebeccah is pioneering research in design methodologies, smart materials and wearable technology – the field she will be in as a research fellow at the BF+DA.

She has held positions as Design Director for Fila, Champion and Nike and teaches in both the Fashion and Industrial Design departments at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she combines fashion, innovation and technology.  Her work has been published internationally, she is the author of the upcoming book Designing with Smart Textiles and she blogs about her work and life as a design entrepreneur.


Francis Bitonti

Francis Bitonti is an architect/designer and researcher based in New York and holds a Masters of Architecture from Pratt Institute and a BFA from Long Island University in Digital Media. He has worked in a variety of design offices and in disciplines ranging from architecture to industrial design.

Currently, he is the founding principal of Francis Bitonti Studio, an interdisciplinary design studio working across scales and disciplines ranging form innovative spaces and objects to wearables and wearable technologies.

His work has been exhibited and published internationally in many prestigious institutions and publications including the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Wall Street Journal.