Meg Grant is a researcher, designer and maker of wearable electronics, e-textiles and fabric interfaces. Her educational background if from fashion design and technology, with a major in computer aided design for pattern making. After graduating from fashion school, she spent a few years in the industry before teaching herself to write code. Eventually she ended up working as a front-end develop for over 10 years. Due to her love to programming, she imagined a future that combines computers and clothing, where the physical world around us and the clothes on our body can be a part of the digital world.
After discovering Arduino and DIYers in 2008, she started exploring on ways to integrate the digital world with textiles, through her fascination with the materiality of electronic integration into textiles and apparel. She describes the contrasts between the textile technology and digital systems, along with the conflicts of hard and soft, body and machine, etc. challenging, but also very interesting. As she found the traditional tools for sewing and circuit building insufficient, her first experiments with fashion-tech were very handwork intensive. While this allowed her to really get to know the materials and craft closely, she became interested in discovering new ways to automate and streamline the integration of electronics into textiles for scalability.
Google's Project Jacquard with Levi's
With over 10 years of experience with e-textiles and digital apparel interfaces, Meg sees technology as a problem-solving tool, where the problem has to exist first to be able to justify the use of technology. While she has experience with a number of companies on different projects, such as TE Connectivity on Google’s Project Jacquard to help people interface the digital world through something other than a screen, she still likes to think that she is at the beginning of her journey.
The greatest challenge she has faced is related to materials – how to be able to use those smart materials in the same harsh environments as regular materials. Furthermore, what are the use cases for those fashion-tech products – are the most compelling use-cases yet to come? This relates to her greatest learning from more than two decades of experience – there is always something more intriguing and amazing to be developed and discovered. For the future, Meg is focused on exploring sustainability related to smart materials and e-textile technologies – something that has already been researched but could use a greater focus due to the integration of different materials.
Find out more about Meg's work from her website.
A powered garment for augmenting movement developed at Seismic (formerly Superflex)