Using pink sticker dots on West 18th Street in Manhattan, the designers of the Stijlinstituut Amsterdam made sure that the crowds of the New York Fashion Week would find their way to the 4th floor of the Metropolitan Pavilion, where on September 10th fashion met technology. This event, organized by the Zero Power Smart Systems Initiative of EPFL and ETHZ in cooperation with swissnex Boston, and designed by the Stijlinstituut Amsterdam, joined together the worlds of technology and fashion with a day-long exhibition and symposium.
Throughout the day, visitors flocked to the exhibition for a hands-on experience with the latest developments in the wearable technology industry. Whether it was Sensoria's Smart Sock, Forster Rohner Textile Innovation's LED-equipped haute couture dress from Albert Kriemler – making the headlines at the spring fashion shows in Paris – or the cutting edge technologies displayed by the Swiss Federal Institutes of Zürich and Lausanne, to name only a few; they all left an impression on the visitors, including special guest Ambassador André Schaller, Switzerland’s new Consul General in New York. Even among the many exclusive fashion shows happening this week around New York, there were no empty seats when the presenters hit the stage. No less than 13 speakers from diverse backgrounds drew the crowds to this afternoon symposium.
A well-balanced audience
“I am very happy with the event,” said Adrian Ionescu, Director, NanoLab of EPF Lausanne and Chair of the Guardian Angels Initiative. “There was a fantastic balance of people from the tech, fashion, and design industries in the audience – just what we were looking for!”
Networking reception allows for new connections
Lastly, the networking reception with experts from the fields of technology and fashion allowed new connections in otherwise opposite industries. This reception put a stylish end to the day at the Metropolitan Pavilion, where technology met fashion and Swiss researchers met New York fashionistas.Even among the many exclusive fashion shows happening this week around New York, there were no empty seats when the presenters hit the stage. No less than 13 speakers (Link to program) from diverse backgrounds drew the crowds to this afternoon symposium.
Bringing Swiss science and innovation to New York City
The success of Wednesday’s event is a testament to the mission that swissnex serves: bringing the best Switzerland has to offer in science and innovation to audiences around the world. And nowhere is that audience more influential than in New York City. “New Yorkers set trends in how we dress, how we interact and communicate with others, and how we invest in new ventures,” says Oliver Haugen, swissnex Boston’s new Senior Project Leader in New York.
The incredible growth of Silicon Alley over the last decade has cemented New York City as the US’s full-service hub for the new economy. Building on fourteen years of experience running the world’s first science consulate, swissnex Boston decided to open a New York Outpost in 2013 to better serve the needs of partners like the EPFL and ETH.
“EPFL’s Guardian Angels Initiative, and the many wearable tech ventures it has linked with in Europe and the US, deserved to reach the right public,” Oliver adds. “Innovation has no borders – and it’s our job at swissnex to make sure that Switzerland’s top centers of research excellence that are EPFL and ETH are known here in New York.” In doing so, swissnex already benefits from the internationalization efforts that the schools have accomplished at home: more than half of EPFL’s faculty and student body is non-Swiss, hailing from 125 countries; and ETH is over one-third international.
The Zero Power Smart Fashion exhibition and symposium was organized by the Zero Power Smart Systems Initiative of EPFL and ETHZ in cooperation with swissnex Boston and its Outpost in New York.