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My Interview with Diana Eng in Wired Magazine

Written by mike on June 2nd, 2009

(Shortcut to the article here.)

A few years back while working at Wired magazine, I put together a “Project Runway Fantasy League” so that the staffers and I would have an interactive way to discuss the show during our breakfast TV recaps. It was a fun and challenging competition that I designed to lampoon the boneheadedness of sporting fantasy leagues. And it was a huge hit in the office.

This led the editors asking me to find and interview Diana Eng, the awesomely techie P.R. contestant/designer from RISD who was striving to meld fashion with technology. The overview: with no budget or time constraints, what would her three top design projects be?

Turns out that Diana was a big Wired fan (no surprise) and happy to contribute. Her answers were wonderfully geeky and she sent in gorgeous sketches of the designs, which got the article a full page in the magazine. It’s still one of my favorite accomplishments. Here is the content of the article.

When aspiring designer Diana Eng got bumped from the fashion-design reality show Project Runway a couple months ago, geeky hearts sank. Who else could turn an interest in wearable computing and a flair for biomimetics into a chance to hang with Heidi Klum? Now that Eng’s out, she’s thinking about what to do next. We seized the opportunity and asked her to come up with three fantasy outfits that take advantage of technologies still in the lab – free of budget restrictions and 12-hour deadlines. – Mike Senese

HOT-DATA DRESS: This is a party dress, Eng says, with graphics that change based on motion -- think of a comic-y BAM! Sensors would be woven into the fabric so if they're bent slowly or suddenly, it would process that data.

HOT-DATA DRESS: "This is a party dress," Eng says, "with graphics that change based on motion -- think of a comic-y BAM! Sensors would be woven into the fabric so if they're bent slowly or suddenly, it would process that data."

THE WINDBLOWN LOOK: The fabric could perhaps be controlled by electrostatic forces or magnetism so it always looks pretty and fluttering, Eng says.

THE WINDBLOWN LOOK: "The fabric could perhaps be controlled by electrostatic forces or magnetism so it always looks pretty and fluttering," Eng says.

PUTTING IT ALL ON DISPLAY: "The color and pattern change, depending on the surroundings, so the wearer becomes the center of attention," Eng says. "It would need a really flexible LCD or a bunch of tiny screens embedded in fabric."

PUTTING IT ALL ON DISPLAY: "The color and pattern change, depending on the surroundings, so the wearer becomes the center of attention," Eng says. "It would need a really flexible LCD or a bunch of tiny screens embedded in fabric."


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