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The WPDC was established in May 2010 as a Collegiate Center in the University of Minnesota's College of Design, dedicated to advancing the state of the art in the design of wearable products. The center is composed of member research labs, which are described in the links on the left.
The Wearable Product Design Center is an innovative, synergistic "think-tank" focused on the exploration of methods and technologies that will change how we design, produce, and wear clothing. In a changing world even those who address the basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing must provide innovative products and services to address needs and improve quality of life. The WPDC focuses on one essential need—clothing---expanding the description to “wearable products” that encompass everyday clothing, protective clothing and equipment worn in extreme environments and hazardous situations, body-worn accessories, medical and health products such as monitoring devices and prosthetics, and more. WPDC research also addresses human needs related to appearance and aesthetic responses to clothing. By synthesizing the experience and expertise of researchers with disparate foci and backgrounds, synergistic efforts are made possible that address in new ways the function and form of the human body, the function and form of the wearable product, the perceptions and psyche of the wearer, response of those viewing the wearer, methods of manufacturing the wearable product, and environmental effects of production, use, and disposal of the product.
More information about the WPDC structure and objectives can be found in the Center Proposal.