Te Ipsum

TE IPSUM is a collection of four jackets – The Intellectual, The Protector, The Creator, and The Visionary. Each custom jacket comes embedded with the Intel Curie module and e-ink screens in order to collect, interpret, and publicly showcase user-specific data inspired by the unique ideals and interests of these four personality types.


This project was done in collaboration with Parsons School of Design's Fashion Design BFA and Design + Technology MFA programs.  It was mentored by Aneta Genova and Katherine Moriwaki and made possible with funding and support from Intel.


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API – Bluetooth – branding – collaboration – data visualization – digital + print design – entrepreneurship – fashion – Intel – IoT – iOS – motion graphics – Processing – UI/UX – wearable technology – web

The Jackets

TE IPSUM explores how the clothes we wear can help us find our fit – how something as simple as a jacket can connect us to the bigger picture, to a larger social whole, to the universe, and to ourselves.

We establish these connections through our system of data “fitting” and garment personalization via a web-based personality test, matching users to one of four jackets:  The Intellectual, The Protector, The Creator, and The Visionary. Based on their responses, users are paired with not only a jacket that fits their visual aesthetic, but also with specific data metrics and visualizations that fit their unique interests and values.

Each of the four jacket types come equipped with two embedded e-ink screens where real-time visualizations of their specific data sets are displayed. These badge-like screens can be seen by both the user and by those around them, emulating traditions of jacket regalia, insignia, or other publicly visible analog symbols of status or affiliation. Though these jackets show their affiliation with a given personality type, the specifics of the data  collected from a unique user and its subsequent visualization on their jacket's screen will vary from person to person, distinguishing them as distinct individuals within a larger, affiliated whole.

The two screens are found in different locations on each jacket and display two types of data: the first, a "Macro" data visualization based on large-scale, global, publicly available data sets, is driven by forces outside of the user or unrelated to their immediate context (for instance, the status of the stock market, nearby asteroids, or trending Twitter hashtags); the second, a "Micro" data set thematically related to the previous set, is driven instead by personal, user-based data (for instance, their heart rate, GPS coordinates, or how many people they have interacted with in a given period).

TE IPSUM comes from the Latin phrase "Nosce te ipsum", meaning "Know thyself." We designed these garments to do just that. We want wearers to understand not only their own selves, but also the world around them in richer, more vibrant ways. In short, we want our users to feel like more than bodies to be quantified; we believe in fitting more than clothes to a body – we believe in fitting clothes to a person.

The small scale, low power Intel Curie module was seamlessly integrated into the four jacket types, providing data-powered insights into the activities and events of the everyday. Each garment houses two e-ink screens: one displaying data visualizations dictated by personal, user-based activities and interactions; the other showcasing visual representations of data sets driven by larger social, cultural, and/or scientific values, such as stock market fluctuations, social media trends, or even geological and atmospheric phenomena.  The Curie module’s features and capabilities – specifically its small size, low power requirements, and ability to wirelessly and frequently communicate with the wearer’s mobile device over Bluetooth – make it the ideal mechanism for receiving, analyzing, and displaying real-time data on a garment designed for everyday wear.

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All content © Copyright Jane McDonough, 2016.