Open Style Lab x Betabrand
In the summer of 2014, I had the opportunity to work with MIT’s Open Style Lab––a 10-week design fellowship aimed at bringing together designers, engineers, and occupational therapists. Our sole purpose was to address a specific clothing challenge for a client with a disability. My team and I worked with Ryan, a 31-year old quadriplegic and wheelchair user, whose personal and professional life was defined by competitive mountain biking. He was, and remains to be, fiercely independent and driven, while also understanding his current limitations. As a result of Ryan’s spinal cord injury, he has limited range of motion in his arms and legs, skin sensitivity to direct and lingering moisture, and body temperature regulation concerns.
INITIAL LAP LAP SKETCH
hile keeping this in mind, and through extensive user testing, my team and I developed the Rayn Jacket that addressed Ryan’s primary challenges. As the designer, I created the jacket with a custom 3-tiered body temperature map that allowed for water resistance with high breath-ability and moisture wicking in strategically targeted areas. I then repositioned the zipper for ease of access and adjusted the pockets in response to his ergonomics. Ryan described himself as a “hoodie” kind of guy, casual and athletic, so I styled the jacket with a pouch pocket that can be folded out to cover and protect his legs and personal belongings from rain and extended moisture.
BETABRAND X OPEN STYLE LAB
Since the completion of the program, and the success we received with the jacket’s design, the Open Style Lab co-founder, Grace Teo, and her team at MIT have decided to develop the Rayn Jacket as their first retail product. In this process, I continued to consult with her team in their quest to further refine, brand, and broaden the scope of the jacket to a wider mass market. In collaboration with Betabrand, the Rayn Jacket became available in April 2015 to wheelchair users as well as to anybody needing to stay dry and comfortable in the seated position.
RAYN JACKET — DRY TEST
© 2014 ALEXANDER JAMES PEACOCK
© 2015 OPEN STYLE LAB