For most of us, our biggest obstacle to getting dressed in the morning is deciding on the perfect outfit. Yet, for the approximately 19% of Americans living with a disability, this task is fraught with difficulty.

Grace Teo PhD ’14 saw these challenges firsthand while working with hospital patients during her medical-engineering PhD program. Determined to give back a measure of the independence and dignity her patients had lost due to illness or injury, Teo was inspired to create the Open Style Lab at MIT.

The Open Style Lab aims to make style accessible to everyone. The Lab also raises awareness about the need for adaptable clothing that works in a variety of situations, from spending time outdoors to attending formal events. Since its inception, 60 students have participated in the Lab’s summer program.

Now in its second year, the Open Style Lab continues to bring together engineers, designers, clinicians, and clients to design adaptive clothing for people with disabilities. This summer, eight teams have been creating innovative clothing solutions for people living with a range of disabilities. For 10 weeks, team members work closely with their client—visiting their home and workplace, learning about their particular disability, and evolving their designs to combine function and aesthetics.

The teams will debut their final design solutions at an event at the MIT Museum on August 15. Read more about each teams’ journey with their clients and see pictures of their prototypes at their blogs. [link]

MIT Open Style Lab named one of BostInno’s 50 on Fire.

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