Functional Aesthetics Symposium and Book Launch on November 19

citizen sensor
Citizen Sensor by Joseph Saavedra

NEW YORK, November 16, 2010—On November 19, Parsons The New School for Design will present Functional Aesthetics, a symposium, book launch, and electronic paper workshop that celebrates the next wave of design merging textiles and technology. The series celebrates the launch of the Fashionable Technology Lab at Parsons, a research center that explores the intersection of design, technology, science and fashion.

“We live in a world that is extraordinarily dependent upon technology, and it is up to designers to harness the power of technology to create functional, aesthetically pleasing work,” said Sabine Seymour, assistant professor of Fashionable Technology at Parsons and director of the lab, whose research focuses on functional aesthetics in fashion, media, and technology. “Through this series, we will illuminate the current landscape of projects that utilize technology in innovative ways.”

The symposium, which will be held from 2-5 p.m. in the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium, will feature presentations by a series of designers whose projects blend form and technology in innovative ways. This includes Stacey Burr, a pioneer in the field of electrotextiles, who will discuss Adidas Wearable Sports Electronics; Jessica Floeh, an alumna of the MFA Design + Technology program at Parsons, presenting her thesis project Hanky Pancreas, a fashion line for diabetics that integrates their medical devices as fashionable accessories; Pascale Gatzen, a Parsons faculty member whose work focuses on the intersection of the body and the garment; Kate Hartman, a faculty member at Ontario College of Art and Design and creator of the StitchLits LED Sewing Kit; designer Adam Harvey, who will present his current project, the anti-paparazzi clutch; Sheldon LaPierre, director of New York's Droog Gallery; Katherine Moriwaki, a Parsons faculty member whose work explores wearable technologies as the means by which people develop and articulate social relations; Despina Papadopoulos, an interaction designer and founder of Studio 5050, which develops wearable appliances for fashion and home; Joseph Saavedra, an alumnus of the MFA Design + Technology program at Parsons, presenting his thesis project Citizen Sensor, a wearable device that collects environmental data; and Parsons Sourcemap, a student research project, will present its solutions for creating awareness and community around sustainability.

Many of the projects are featured in the Seymour's recently published book, Functional Aesthetics. A book launch and signing will immediately follow the symposium from 5-6 p.m. in the auditorium. Following the book signing, Parsons alumni Paola Guimerans and Cecilia Elguero will introduce participants to the ideas of paper electronics and circuit building during the Paper Electronics Workshop.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design, 66 Fifth Avenue, New York. The Paper Electronics Workshop will be held in the 10th Floor Lab at 2 West 13th Street. Space is limited, and RSVP is required by emailing [email protected] closing reception will be held from 7-10 p.m. at Eyebeam Studios, 540 West 21st Street, New York. During the reception, many of the projects discussed in the symposium will be on view, including Gluejeans by Droog,, miCoach by Adidas, and work focusing on Paper Electronics.

The event is the first in a series of programs organized by the Fashionable Technology Lab that will explore new frontiers of wearable technology. For more information, including a full schedule, please visit

Parsons The New School for Design has been a pioneer in art and design education for more than a century. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of design disciplines. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. A student-centered curriculum allows for both focused and interdisciplinary learning, with unparalleled internship opportunities and industry partnerships laying the groundwork for entrepreneurship and professional success. An integral part of The New School, Parsons builds on the university's legacy of progressive ideals, scholarship, and pedagogy. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. For more information, please visit



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