Dr. Amanda Parkes is a fashion technologist with over 12 years of experience in wearable technology, interaction design, smart materials and fashion innovation. She is the Chief Innovation Officer of Future Tech Lab, a hybrid investment fund, agency and experimental lab focused on the future of sustainable and interactive fashion. Her perspective focuses on combining smart textiles, wearable tech, fiber science, material science, and nanotechnology with the strategic development issues around building hybrid fashion-technology businesses.

She is the former Chief of Technology and Research at Manufacture NY and the Founder of BuildFashion, a fashion tech studio working with startups including Thesis Couture, Dropel Fabrics, Kenzen, Mycoworks and Wonderwoof, and with past clients including Google, Intel, and Ringly. As an academic, she is appointed as a Visiting Scientist at the MIT Media Lab and an Adjunct Professor in the Columbia University Department of Architecture.

She received a PhD & M.S. in Tangible Media from the MIT Media Lab and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Product Design) and a B.A. in Art History from Stanford University. She is an international speaker & lecturer including TED, DLD, CES, PSFK, the World Economic Forum and the New York Times International Luxury Conference; 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 Business of Fashion 500 People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry, Vanity Fair’s 8 Wildest Women of Silicon Valley and as one of Alleywatch’s 10 Most Influential People in Fashion 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.


The divide she’s bridging is great. Advances that will truly bring fashion and tech together, like connectors between any kind of wire and any kind of fabric, don’t yet exist.
— Fast Company