FASHION TECHNOLOGIST; BIOMEDIA DESIGNER
Dr. Amanda Parkes is a fashion technologist and biomedia designer with over 10 years of experience in interaction design, wearable technology, and fashion innovation. She is currently the Chief of Technology and Research at Manufacture NY, a new hybrid fashion incubator/factory/research facility in Brooklyn NY where she is leading the development of a high tech fashion & textiles R&D space with joint research around advanced digital fabrication, wearable electronics, and material science. Manufacture NY is the recipient of the inaugural U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Growth Accelerator Fund Award and the NYC EDC Industrial Modernization Award. She is also the founder of Skinteractive Studio, offering conceptual design and technological development of interactive experiences focused on the body and consulting services on the future of wearable computing and hi-tech textiles, and trends in fashion technology for branding, manufacturing, and interactivity.
She has recently been named the Chief Innovation Officer of Fashion Tech Lab (FTK), which funds, connects and develops cutting-edge technologies and sustainable innovation with the aim of transforming the fashion industry.
She is a visiting scientist at the MIT Media Lab and teaches at the Columbia University Department of Architecture with course topics including body augmentation and fashion technology, decentralized energy paradigms, biomaterials and synthetic biology, and sustainability in design practices. Her work also extends into the arts–as the co-curator of Regeneration, a major new exhibition opened in October 2012 at the New York Hall of Science featuring contemporary interactive art on themes of art, science, and cultural sustainability, and as the curator and producer of the annual Seamless: Computational Couture runway show series at the MIT Media Lab and the Boston Museum of Science, and the curator and producer of Unravel, the fashion technology series for SIGGRAPH.
She holds a PhD & M.S. in Tangible Media from the MIT Media Lab with a research focus on how digital technologies can expand our relationship with natural phenomena and biological systems to facilitate a more intuitive connection interfacing technology to the natural world, combining robotics, interaction design, and smart materials. She is an international speaker & lecturer including TED, DLD, PSFK, the WEF and the New York Times International Luxury Conference and her design work has been awarded in forums including the ID Magazine Annual Design Review, the Prix Ars Electronica, and the D&AD Awards. She was named to the 2014 Business of Fashion 500 People Shaping the Global Fashion list and as one of Mass High Tech’s ‘Women to Watch’ in technology. Outside the lab, she likes to sew, surf, and amass exquisite shoes.
DESIGNING FOR THE AUGMENTED BODY: FASHION AND WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY
Amanda takes us on a whirlwind journey through some of the latest advances and projects in Wearable Computing. The newest companies are rethinking the very nature of technology. For instance, instead of sewing a battery into a garment, they're making garments that can generate their own power. New technology looks more like fashionable jewelry than like a computer.