Fashion-Technology Overlap Subject of Symposium and “Hackathon” at Kent State

JAN. 30 – FEB. 1

Events organized by Kent State’s Blackstone LaunchPad, Fashion School and TechSyleLAB

TechStyleLAB Symposium
Academic conference on digital textile design and production
Friday, Jan. 30 (10 a.m. - 7 p.m.)
Rockwell Hall, Kent State University

Fashion/Tech Hackathon
Student wearable technology design competition
Friday, Jan. 30 (7 p.m.) - Sunday, Feb. 1 (2 p.m.)
Rockwell Hall, Kent State University

More than 200 students from over 70 colleges and universities worldwide have registered for the second annual Fashion/Tech Hackathon, organized by Blackstone LaunchPad at Kent State University and Kent State’s Fashion School. The 36-hour marathon event will take place the weekend of Jan. 30 - Feb. 1, during which time student teams will combine fashion and technology to create new, innovative products and compete for $4,000 in cash prizes.

In addition to Kent State, participants hail from such well-regarded institutions as MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley, Duke and the University of British Columbia.

This preview video provides a look at the weekend’s events and their visual interest:

Fashion StudentThe Fashion/Tech Hackathon is presented by a consortium of Kent State departments and organizations, including Blackstone LaunchPad, which promotes entrepreneurship and innovation across the university. Another presenter is Kent State’s Fashion School and the school’s TechStyleLAB, which is making its arsenal of cutting-edge equipment available to participants. That equipment includes a three-dimensional body scanner, digital textile printers, and laser cutting and digital embroidery machines. Other presenters are Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute, School of Digital Sciences, Department of Computer Science and the student organization Hacksu.

The Hackathon begins with a keynote kickoff at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 30. Project submissions are due just over 36 hours later, at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 1. In the interim period, students work, eat and sleep in Rockwell Hall, home to the Fashion School and the TechStyleLAB. Project and award presentations will take place on Sunday from 1 – 2 p.m.

TechStyleLAB SymposiumTechStyleLAB Symposium

The hackathon is preceded by the first-ever TechStyleLAB Symposium, a gathering of academics from the fields of digital textile design and production from around the world. Institutions represented include the University of Delaware, Iowa State University and Loughborough University of Loughborough, England. Among the topics being presented at the symposium are “PlayLift: Design of a Garment-Based Exoskeleton for Children with Arm Movement Impairment”; “Exploring 3D Garment Simulation as a Prototype Validation Tool for Costume Designers”; and “Online Brand Community and Consumer Involvement in Apparel Product Development.”

Symposium presentations will take place Friday, Jan. 30, from 10 a.m. – noon and 2:30 – 4 p.m. in Rockwell Hall, with an additional poster session from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Northeast Ohio Wearable and Embedded Technologies Consortium (WETeC) will hold its first-ever meeting in Kent on the same day, drawing another 50 experts on wearable technology from across the region. Symposium participants and the WETeC group will meet for a networking luncheon (noon – 1:15 p.m.) at the Kent State University Hotel & Conference Center as well as an evening reception (5 – 7 p.m.) at the Kent State University Museum.

For a complete schedule of Fashion/Tech Hackathon and TechStyleLAB Symposium events, visit Videos from last year’s activities are available for viewing.

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Photo Captions:
Photo 1 from Kent State’s Fashion/Tech Hackathon
A student works on a vest that would charge a cellphone during Kent State University’s inaugural Fashion/Tech Hackathon last year. Kent State will once again explore the growing wearable technology industry by hosting the hackathon Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2015.

Photo 2 from Kent State’s Fashion/Tech Hackathon
Students who participated in the 2014 Fashion/Tech Hackathon at Kent State University present their prototype, the GlowShirt, a black, long-sleeved shirt with neon lights and retroreflective details. The shirt’s lighting feature was made so that bikers could be seen more easily by drivers at night.

Media Contact:
Alex Parrott,, 330-672-2714 (office), 703-434-9202 (cell)

POSTED: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 12:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, April 2, 2015 11:54 AM
Fashion School