Enhancing the Body: Wearables of the Future


'Enhancing the Body: Wearables for the Future', Prof. Gözde Goncu Berk and Prof. Mitchell Sutter

This seminar explores the design of wearables using a critical perspective to envision the future of human, product and environment interactions. Human's define wearables as body mounted technology that enhances capabilities of the human body such as smart clothing, wearable accessories, and prosthetics.  Smart clothing refers electronic textile-based wearable products, wearable accessories refer to smart wrist bands, watches, jewelry, etc., and prosthetics refer to products that replace and even possibly improve a lost body function. The common feature of these body mounted products is that they all augment body in different ways and share similar merging technologies. As such the line between smart clothing, wearable accessories and prosthetics have been blurred, ethical issues are raised with respect to the recent rapid growth in body modification. 

Students will explore design of wearables for a far future focusing on new use and interaction scenarios with an emphasis on social, ethical and environmental consequences. The goal of this seminar is multifold, 1) to introduce the recent innovations in wearables, 2) to explore their socio-ethical aspects, 3) to introduce creative idea generation methods in conceptualizing new wearable ideas. 



Gozde Goncu Berk
Arts/Humanities Faculty: Gözde Goncu Berk

Gözde Goncu Berk, Department of Design

Professor Goncu Berk received her Ph.D. in Design from the University of Minnesota and her M.A. in Clothing Design from Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts. Her B.S. degree is in Industrial Design from the Istanbul Technical University. Her research heavily uses interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork, and adopts new technologies to create meaningful experiences and solve real-world problems through design. She is especially interested in designing wearable products for people with special needs such as children, elderly, disabled or sufferers of chronic diseases by employing new technologies and human-centered design process.


Mitchell Sutter
Science/Engineering Faculty: Mitchell Sutter

Mitchell Sutter, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior

Professor Sutter received his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley in 1991 and his B.S. degree in Bioengineering from Brown University in 1985. His lab researches how the brain analyzes sounds, how attention influences this neural analysis, and how this leads to decisions and actions in response to sound. To do this we use a multidisciplinary approach combining neuroscience (recording the electrical activity of single neurons), behavior, psychology, and quantitative approaches.