Scientific method and creative process for wearable technologies from invention to innovation
The aim of this paper is demonstrating how in the contemporary scene the boundaries between scientific method and creative process are increasingly blurred finding innovation as the point of intersection of this discursive separation. The analysis identifies the object of investigation in the emergent field of fashion wearables. In fact, the introduction of digital tools has had a significant impact on the fashion system, and wearable technologies represent the result of a new systemic interaction among diverse approaches belonging to different sectors. In this context, our purpose is to identify the moment when invention, seen as technological progress, becomes innovation, integrating and affecting people’s lives. To this end, the paper is firstly aimed in analyzing through case studies the different methods to design innovative fashion products. Both technology driven innovation and design driven innovation based methodologies are examined. The two strategies are compared and described in terms of phases, actors involved and validation of the obtained results, underlining the crucial stages of the process: the definition of the target and the scenario and the phase of product testing. This involves both traditional methods of data analysis for the technological functioning, based on numerically quantifiable parameters, and experimental verification based on the object-final user relationship. This test aims at “measuring” the effectiveness of the products in terms of comfort, usability, aesthetics and interaction. It is this methodological transdisciplinary practice that carries appreciable results concerning innovation. This approach leads to an emphasis of the designer’s cross role and it represents an opportunity for the academic research as well as for the market.
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