Connecting The Dots: Experiments In e-Textiles (Wearable USA 2017)

Dr Renuka Dhandapani, Textile Chemist
Cotton Incorporated
United States
Prof Despina Papadopoulos, CEO and Founder
Principled Design
United States


USA 2017 Presentation - Cotton Incorporated*
USA 2017 Audio Presentation - Cotton Incorporated*
USA 2017 Video Presentation - Cotton Incorporated*

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Presentation Summary

Lack of proper connectors that allow for easy integration in textile manufacturing process is a big challenge in the industry. We will talk about our work developing an e-Textile interconnect system along with solutions around insulation of conductive elements, weaving techniques and formulation of industry standards. We will discuss our collaborative efforts and the importance of building partnerships to navigate the complex e-Textiles ecosystem.

Speaker Biography (Renuka Dhandapani)

Dr. Renuka Dhandapani is a Textile Chemist at Cotton Incorporated, a not-for-profit organization that promotes research and marketing on cotton fiber. Renuka's focus has been on wearables and 3D printing and how cotton can be used in these areas. She has been at Cotton Incorporated for four years working on new functional finishes that can improve the properties of cotton fabric. She has a Ph.D. in Textile Sciences from University of Georgia and a Master's in Design and Merchandising from Colorado State University.

Speaker Biography (Despina Papadopoulos)

Despina Papadopoulos is the founder of Principled Design, a system design and strategy studio specializing in wearable technologies, building prototypes, and working with organizations to introduce innovation at the intersection of social structure and technological possibility. She works closely with both technology and apparel companies on the integration of electronics and helps them identify opportunities to disrupt the supply chain.
A leader in the wearable technology and e-textiles world, Despina developed her first "wearable" in 1995 as part of her MA thesis project at NYU's graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program. Since then she has developed a wide range of wearable technology projects and solutions, including mBracelet for NCR (which presaged e-payments), fabrickit (an open source modular system that facilitates the construction of wearable projects). She also developed click sneaks, love&hug jackets, and day-for-night (an homage for Paco Rabanne).
Despina is a professor at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program and founding faculty at SVA's MFA in Design for Social Innovation Program. Despina has lectured interactive Telecommunications Program and founding faculty at SVA's MFA in Design for Social Innovation Program. Despina has lectured internationally on the relationship between design, technology and ethics, including at CHI, Tate Modern, Smart Fabrics, the Jan Van Eyck Academy and the Ivrea Interaction Design Institute. Her work has been featured in publications around the work and exhibited in major museum shows, including the V&A in London, the Holon Design Museum in Holon, Israel, the Walker Art Center in Minnesota.

Company Profile (Cotton Incorporated)

Cotton Incorporated logo
Cotton incorporated is the research and promotion company for cotton. Funded by U.S. cotton growers and cotton importers, the not-for-profit organization's mission is to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton. As a resource for the cotton industry, Cotton Incorporated conducts or oversees more than 500 research and educational projects each year.
Research areas range from the development of agricultural and textile innovations to analyses of commodity and market data. Through its management of the Importer Support Program of the Cotton Board, the company provides educational support to fashion and textile design students, and conducts industry-focused technical workshops around the world.
View Cotton Incorporated Timeline 

Company Profile (Principled Design)

Principled Design is a design and development studio in New York City specializing in wearable technology and e-textile solutions. We work closely with our clients to develop holistic solutions that address this complex ecosystem including concept and materials development, seamless integration of electronics into fabrics, textile and apparel design, as well as adoption by end-users.
Our services span from concept development all the way to design-for-manufacturing, sourcing of materials and components, facilitating strategic partnerships, and coordinating production with manufactured both domestically and overseas. With over 18 years of experience in the wearables and e-textiles space we have built an extensive network of partners and collaborators in both industry and academia.