Keynote Presentation

At the Intersection of Human and Device: Challenges and Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Development of Wearable Technology

Lucy E. Dunne

Professor, Director, Apparel Design Program, Co-Director, Wearable Technology Lab

Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel

University of Minnesota


Abstract: Wearable technology is a highly complex, inherently interdisciplinary field and successful wearable solutions depend heavily on effective input from experts in many diverse fields (including electrical and mechanical engineering, fashion design, human factors, computer science, textile engineering, and many more). The next generation of wearables will cover more of the body surface, and integrate more closely with fabrics and garments, exacerbating these interdisciplinary challenges. And yet, some of the most exciting developments and innovations arise from these intersections between disciplines. This talk will discuss some of the more exciting directions for next-generation wearables, as well as the challenges that arise from gaps between disciplines, and between research and product development/commercialization.

Lucy E. Dunne is a Professor at the University of Minnesota, where she directs the Apparel Design program and is the founder and co-director of the Wearable Technology Lab. She is a co-author (with Susan Watkins) of “Functional Apparel Design: From Sportswear to Space Suits” (Bloomsbury, 2015), and her academic background includes degrees in Apparel Design (Cornell University, BS and MA), Electronic Engineering (Tompkins-Cortland Community College, AAS), and Computer Science (University College Dublin, PhD). Her research is focused on pursuing the vision of scalable, wearable garment-integrated technology, and explores new functionality in apparel, human-device interface, production and manufacture, and human factors of wearable products. Dr. Dunne has received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award and the NASA Silver Achievement Medal for her work with functional clothing and wearable technology.


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