Adaptive Clothing Design with Shaker Heights Middle Schoolers


Just before the holiday, Alium Adaptive was invited to the Shaker Heights Middle School Design Days, where community designers present to students about their work. I thought it would be most interesting not to lecture students about adaptive clothing but to put them do work designing for a client.


Students were divided into groups and each presented with a client's bio and some sample textiles and closures (zippers, velcro, magnets, etc). The goal was to design an outfit for the daily life of their client.


Clients included seniors with Parkinsons, Alzheimers and incontinence, fragility and arthritis, as well as a young quadriplegic woman utilizing a wheelchair. The students were really able to put themselves into the clients' shoes and think through their functional needs while addressing comfort and style.


One group presented at the end of the class designs that were surprisingly similar to Alium's Zip Front Pants and Wrap Sweater.  They really got it! They will make excellent designers one day and have job offers waiting with Alium upon graduation!