Currently our team is working on the following articles:

Sustainable solutions for wearable technologies

Gurova Olga, Timothy Robert Merritt, Eleftherios Papachristos and Jenna Vaajakari

Wearable technologies involve the integration of technology into clothing or accessories to bring new functionalities for people on the move. Many examples of wearables are emerging from simple fitness tracking watches to electronics deeply embedded into garments for multi-touch sensing and control for personal music players. Wearables have the potential to support positive experiences in the lives of many people, however, without careful development, wearables can have a negative impact on the environment due to increased production of electronic components, increased e-waste from abandoned devices, and increased energy usage. We examine environmental sustainability issues through a review of recent research and cases across three broad areas including the fashion industry, information and communications technology (ICT), and wearable technologies. In the analysis, we examine stages in the product lifecycle and identify the unique issues for each sector including the extraction of materials, production process, distribution of products, use, and disposal of products that have reached the end of life. The findings are gathered as implications for design to offer researchers, designers, developers, and product managers an overview of the issues related to environmental sustainability and related examples of products and prototypes that have been developed to be more environmentally sustainable.

How the practice of commercializing comes together and falls apart

Daria Morozova, Olga Gurova

Wearable technologies, or wearables, are a combination of design and technology—for instance, a smartwatch that measures blood pressure, or lingerie that imitates the touch of one’s lover. Regardless of initial optimistic forecasts for wearables’ market growth, there are few examples of successfully commercialized wearables, except those by technology giants like Apple or Xiaomi. In contrast to large companies, start-ups developing wearables, while numerous, struggle to survive. Previous studies on commercializing failures suggest that this is due to poor design of wearables, inappropriate business models, or an extended time lag needed for customers to accept such novel technology. In this article, we add to the ongoing discussion by approaching the commercializing process as a complex integrative practice that consists of materials, skills and meanings. Looking from this angle allows for discovering new dependencies that are otherwise left unseen. Drawing on three examples of wearable start-ups that correspond to a proto-practice, reproduced practice and ex-practice, we analyze how the practice of wearables’ commercializing takes shape, perpetuates and falls apart, what problems accompany the practice, as well as how an understanding of commercializing can go beyond a traditional interpretation of profit increase. The article is based on qualitative research among startups of wearable technologies in Finland, Russia and the Netherlands approached through a lens of the practice theory.

Коммерциализация умной одежды как практика: арт-, бизнес- и государственный проекты    

Морозова Дарья, Гурова Ольга

Данная статья основана на качественном исследовании умной одежды с использованием теории практик в качестве теоретической базы для анализа. Умная одежда (wearables) – это сочетание моды и технологий, например, умные часы, синхронизирующиеся с телефоном, или нижнее белье, имитирующее прикосновение любимого человека. Несмотря на оптимистичные прогнозы, на рынке мало успешных проектов коммерциализации умной одежды. Исключение составляют крупные электронные корпорации, такие как Apple или Xiaomi. Исследования стартапов умной одежды объясняют неудачи на рынке характеристиками самой одежды, неправильными бизнес моделями стартапов или растянутым временным лагом, необходимым для того, чтобы пользователи привыкли к технологической новинке. Данной статьей мы хотим включиться в существующую дискуссию, предложив рассмотреть коммерциализацию как сложную интегративную практику, складывающуюся из материальных вещей, компетенций и значений. Мы предполагаем, что такой подход позволит увидеть новые взаимосвязи, влияющие на процесс коммерциализации. На примере трех проектов – арт-, бизнес- и государственного – в статье анализируется, каким образом формируется и развивается практика коммерциализации, какие проблемы характерны для каждой из этих областей, и каким образом можно интерпретировать коммерциализацию, не ограничиваясь таким пониманием, как получение прибыли через увеличение продаж.