Principled Design is a design and development studio based in New York city specializing in wearable technology and e-textile solutions founded by Despina Papadopoulos. With a firm belief that technology must engage with the sensory and the sensual and with the material and embodied complexity of being human, the studio’s approach is systemic and multi-layered.
We work closely with our clients to develop holistic solutions that address the intricate ecosystem of wearable and sensing environments, including concept and materials development, seamless integration of electronics into fabrics, textile and apparel design, software-hardware integration, and user testing.
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 and have developed a unique approach to leverage the expertise and capabilities of our network.
Our methodology enables joined-up thinking and the development of a common language between the various players that comprise the intricate world of wearable and e-textile systems.
Our work is driven by principles of anticipation, transparency, agency, control, and play.
We engage texture, movement, surface, emotion, gesture and interaction to turn strategic initiatives into meaningful next generation products and services.
We work closely with our clients on all stages of concept and prototype development to make sure that our solutions align with their organization’s strategy, core competencies and markets. Think of us as your innovation lab partner.
Strategy: As wearable technology and e-textiles enter a new phase of development and adoption, with strong consumer demand, we work with senior management from all departments (design, marketing, production) to help companies craft go-to-market strategies, prepare their workforce for the challenges and opportunities in the space, and when appropriate facilitate strategic partnerships. We do this with workshops and by providing strategic briefs and on-going consultation, where we present the state of the art, competitive landscape and review our client’s capabilities, brand DNA and market opportunities.
Concept Development: Whether you have a specific product in mind or want to explore opportunities for your company in e-textiles and wearables, we will work with you to develop and evaluate compelling concepts for your market. We will develop ideas based on your position in the market and create robust concepts that take into account user experience, design, available and emerging technologies and deliver a development and production roadmap for your team.
Prototype Development: We develop prototypes that emphasize the user’s experience, seamless integration of technology, comfort, ease of use and delight. Prototypes allow your teams to test and streamline products and their features, experiment with new ideas and identify appropriate manufacturing solutions. Integrating the Internet of Things to the Internet of Me, we work closely with our clients to develop prototypes that incorporate design and technology to provide unique and compelling experiences for users. We have expertise in 3D printing, sensors, communication protocols, provide support with materials selection, develop customized hardware and software integration and make sure that design meets technology without compromising overall experience and aesthetics, always with an eye to manufacturability.
Project Management: We provide project management support for wearable technology and e-textiles projects. We help our clients source materials, and develop new ones when necessary, streamline production through innovations in patterning, design and by leveraging our capabilities and network in 3D modeling, patterning and design, electronics, injection molding and apparel manufacturing. We work with design teams, marketing and production to ensure that all aspects of a product roll-out are planned and streamlined. We facilitate relationships with vendors and production facilities both domestically and internationally.
CT-FlexHeat: Multi-Tech Commuter Jacket
Lubrizol commissioned Principled Design to conceive, design and oversee the development of Lubrizol’s Multi-Tech Commuter Jacket, including development of the supply chain, and contract assembly of jacket components into final garment form. The jacket showcases innovative technologies from Lubrizol’s Engineered Polymers and Performance Coatings portfolios especially well-suited for Electronics including flexible hybrid electronics, wearables, mobile devices and accessories, and 3D printing.
To incorporate Lubrizol’s highly flexible material solutions into a wearable platform, Principled Design then selected ACI Materials for their expertise in conductive inks, encapsulants and resistance heater flexible circuit technology and Butler Technologies, Inc. for their proven capabilities in developing printed electronics, proof of concept and prototyping to form the project team. Each member of the team brought a deep understanding in their area of expertise and contributed to problem-solving relating to the advanced design, materials and the interplay between technology to deliver form, comfort and functionality.
CT-FlexHeat jacket was conceived, designed and produced by Principled Design in order to demonstrate the importance of collaboration, material expertise and a deep understanding of the supply chain as key drivers in wearable technology innovation.
The CT-FlexHeat jacket was made possible by bringing together leaders in materials development, printed electronics and a unique attention to detail: ACI Materials: Conductive inks and adhesives, stretchable dielectric enacpsulant, Butler Technologies: Printed Electronics & screen printing of fabric coatings, Lubrizol: fabric technology, stretch restrictive and durability coatings, flexible TPU substrate. For more information on the CT-FlexHeat Jacket and how to make this technology part of your offerings, contact: email@example.com
Open Innovation Group
An integral part of our model and practice is the Open Innovation Group formed to bring together select industry leaders, to support us in our development work and provide us with continuous feedback, domain expertise, industry connections and prototyping facilities. Our members bring expertise in thread and yarn development, weaving, knitting and fabric testing, high-volume manufacturing, embroidery and wearable identity, as well as a brand’s perspective.
7 for All Mankind
72 and Sunny
The Costume Institute,
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
NIVEA / BEIERSDORF
The Coca Cola Foundation
Parallel to our consulting services and as part of our R&D work, we have developed a series of prototypes, most recently focusing in the development of ConnexI/O, an e-textile connector solution to tackle one of the most vexing and pressing issues in the seamless development and manufacturing of e-textile based products.
ConnexI/O is born out of our conviction that the “connector” problem, or what we call the “last mile problem” in e-textiles, can be solved but demands the combined expertise of multiple stakeholders as well as a well-defined set of requirements and specifications.
With our team of textile and material engineers, mechanical and electrical engineers and interaction designers, we are developing a unique connector solution, in a variety of packages, for e-textile substrates incorporating conductive threads (insulated and un-insulated), conductive inks, and/or high-gauge wire. Key to ConnexI/O is our “snap-and-latch” technology which allows our connector to be integrated on the apparel factory floor, requiring no soldering, opening up new opportunities for the seamless integration of electronics into a variety of e-textile substrates.