Creating Kinetic Adaptiveº
Kinetic Adaptiveº was an incredible undertaking, and we couldn't have done it alone. Adaptive° was born through multiple partnerships, drawing perspectives from high-performance athletics, independent living research and ergonomic design, to develop the first of what we hope to be many adaptive products.
Our process started with the Stavros Center for Independent Living, an organization supporting communities without barriers in Gihan's hometown of Amherst, MA. Through one on one conversations, and focus groups with individuals using wheelchairs and personal care assistants, we identified opportunities to improve the experience for seated wear and dressing.
Working with long-time partners WeAdapt from the University of Minho, Portugal, we investigated ways to reduce pressure and irritation while seated, primarily through pattern changes in the waist and knee.
Over 7 variations of each tested feature was prototyped during our process in a complete garment to allow real-world testing, with a keen eye toward durability and ergonomics.
The Kinetic platform is a unique, warp-knit fabric with spring-like fibers that give it unrivaled stretch and mobility - making it a favorite for athletes. To put Kinetic Adaptiveº to the test we worked with Gold Medalist Paralympians who put Adaptiveº through the paces in their off-court lives. Through four rounds of prototypes, the feedback we recieved from Alana Nichols and fellow Paralympians guided not only the fit and features of Adaptive°, but the aesthetic too.
The multi-faceted approach to research, design and testing yielded insights that will continue to drive the extension of our Adaptiveº line, and guide the evolution of our mainline products for the better.