This year’s Innovation by Design Awards brought with it several new categories, including Fashion. We included it because the industry is more dynamic, and more complicated, than ever before. The finalists and winner below tackle big themes, ranging from how you use big data to make clothes fit better, to how we might live in outer space. (You read that right.) Congratulations to all, and a special thank you to our esteemed judges: Amanda Parkes, Chief of technology and research, Manufacture NY; Marissa Webb, Creative director and EVP of design, Banana Republic; and fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht. Finally, a sincere thank you to everyone who entered and supported Fast Company’s commitment to elevating the design profession.
If you’re looking for more inspiring work, don’t forget to check out the finalists in our other categories: Winners, 3D-Printing, City Solutions, Data Viz, Experience, Experimental, Fashion, Graphic Design, Health, Mobile Apps, Product Design, Smart Home, Social Good, Students, Web Design.
Creators: MIT Media Lab Mediated Matter Gorup (Steven Keating, Neri Oxman, Will Patrick and Sunanda Sharma) with Deskriptiv, the Pamela Silver Lab at Harvard Medical School, and Stratasys
Most wearables convey a bit of information and not much more. But Neri Oxman, founder of the Mediated Matter research group at MIT, imagines a future where wearables aren’t just passive lifestyle devices: They could generate the food, energy, light, and oxygen to keep us alive. In a project dubbed Wanderers, Oxman proposes wearable vessels that have photosynthetic bacteria culturing inside, creating the resources that an interplanetary traveler would need to survive in other climates.
Creators: Kanye West, Nic Galway
Kanye West’s pairing with Adidas on a signature sneaker was one of 2015’s most interesting moments in fashion and sneaker culture. The shoe lives up to the hype: combining minimalist design and comfortable cushioning, the Yeezy 750 Boost boasts a sleek silhouette that helps redefine Adidas’s brand for a high-fashion audience.
Creators: Dear Kate
After polling a thousand women, Dear Kate found that the most common problems with yoga pants have to do with what’s worn underneath. Flimsy yoga pants make underwear ride up or bunch, shows panty lines or reveal it all if you decide to go without. Incorporating a small inset of proprietary fabric, Dear Kate’s Nothing Under Yoga Pants are thick and comfortable with no underwear required.
Creators: Dave Lyndaker, Nancy and Scott Peters
Firm: DNS Designs LLC
Originally conceived to aid people with limited mobility in their hands, the Magzip is a simple yet ingenious advancement in zipper technology. Magnets and special self aligning geometry allow the zipper base to snap together on its own, making it simple to zip with just one hand.
Creators: Michelle Lam, Nikki Dekker
TrueSpectrum aims to rethink how bras are designed, engineered, and bought. It begins when customers take a simple survey about their shape and typical measurements. Those answers are then matched with one of over 6,000 bra sizes, which were themselves created using data gathered from half a million women.
First and foremost a beautiful watch, the Activité is also a sophisticated activity tracker that monitors steps taken, calories burned, distance traveled and sleep patterns. When it was released in 2014, the watch defined a new category of elegantly designed, fashion-focused wearables that were fashionable first, and high-tech second.