Ski jacket nets recognition for Richmond design grad

A recent graduate of the Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University has received a prestigious recognition for his ski jacket that adapts to temperature and exertion levels.

Riley Scott, who graduated from the Technical Apparel Design program in December 2019, was recognized at the annual Core77 Design Awards 2020, an annual design contest.

The awards cover 18 distinct design disciplines and Scott was a student runner-up for the Sports and Recreation Award. His jacket, Stratus Ski Touring Mid-Layer, varies its insulation to the thermal needs of the user.

“The initial inspiration for this jacket came from my own ski touring expeditions and being frustrated with the amount of time and energy that was wasted while altering my layering system,” says Scott.

“I wanted to create an ‘invisible’ layer that could adapt to different temperatures and exertion levels - without removing any garments. To realize this goal, I took inspiration from window blinds as they transition from a 2D object to a 3D object when either side of the baffle is pulled in opposite directions.”

The jacket was Scott’s capstone project in the Technical Apparel Design program. He credited his instructors in helping him achieve success in the project.

For Scott’s instructors, the jacket reflects a commitment to the design process they teach.

“Riley did a fantastic job, not just in what the jacket became as a prototype but in the whole approach to understanding the context of use, defining the problem and technical design requirements, material and construction exploration, and iterative prototyping and testing of possible solutions,” said instructor Dan Robinson.

He says the jacket went beyond finding a solution for taking layers on and off during backcountry ski touring. 

“The Stratus jacket is also sensitive to other context-specific requirements for carrying a pack, for providing more traditional vent zips that are usually absent in a mid-layer, for keeping sleeves in place with arm movements, and for packing the jacket when not in use,” Robinson added. “And he did both engineering tests to show changes in insulation and user tests to demonstrate effectiveness in simulated use of the jacket.” 

This is the second consecutive year a Technical Apparel Design program graduate has been recognized at the Core77 awards after Philip Siwek’s autonomous vehicle cycling jacket won the Strategy and Research student category in 2019.  

Scott, who now works for Mountain Equipment Co-op, is passionate about his future in technical apparel design as he hopes to push the boundaries of what’s possible in developing products.

“I feel so honoured to have been recognized by the designers at Core 77 for a project I put so much time and passion into,” he adds. “It has been incredibly validating to realize that judges from Jacksonville, Luxembourg and Stockholm are all discussing my design as it is something I have thought about every day for months.”

The Technical Apparel Design program has been developed in collaboration with employees from Vancouver-based technical apparel companies such as Arc’teryx, lululemon, Mountain Equipment Co-Op and Mustang Survival, along with top academics and researchers.

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