This article was originally published in the June 15, 2010 issue of AATCC News.
Competition Winners Share Advice & Experience
AATCC's Materials Competition can be a big undertaking, but five students met the challenge with flying colors. The winning entries required not only creative ideas, but time management, cooperation, and a variety of skills—from research to marketing.
Here are some thoughts from the winners and advice for future participants.
1st Place: Anti-Microbial Tactical Boot
Garry Atkinson, North Carolina State University
Future Materials Competition Entrants
Garry: I would advise students to research in a field that interests them.
Andrea: Create a plan, stay focused and have fun!
Anna: Learn to work as a team and support one another.
Lindsay: Start early and keep on top of your work throughout the semester. No slacking.
I recently received my Bachelor's of Industrial Design and a minor in Textile Technology.
Why did you enter the competition?
I was interested in applying my knowledge as a product designer and creating a product that improves the user experience.
What did you learn?
I learned about the many health benefits of silver as an antimicrobial agent, as well as the importance of extensive research in the design process.
What was the best part of the experience?
The fact that the possibilities for products are endless was the best part of the competition.
2nd Place: ProTech-tive Apparel
Andrea Rivas, Lindsay Remington, Katie Voytko, and Anna Clark, North Carolina State University
What are you studying?
Lindsay: I will graduate in December 2010 with a BS in Textile and Apparel Management with a concentration in Brand Management.
Katie: Fashion and Textile Management, Concentrating on Brand Management and Marketing
Anna: Textile and Apparel Management (Major); Brand Management and Marketing (Concentration)How did you divide the work?
Lindsay: Our advisor, Tim Clapp, gave us a general outline of what is expected to be completed each week. From there, we split the work depending on the expertise in the group. Marketing students lead the team on the marketing aspects, while textile technology students were leaders in testing; however, each member was involved in every aspect of the project.
What was the inspiration for your project?
Lindsay: The product design came about after assessing the assets in the properties of UNIFI's All-In-One fiber. After understanding the immense antimicrobial properties that this fiber has, we were able to draw inspiration from a friend who suffered from the MRSA virus. We adapted this problem and tested the AIO fiber against Staph bacteria.
What was most difficult?
Anna: Making sure our project was the absolute best it could be.
Andrea: The most difficult part of the competition was the time constraints.
Lindsay : The most difficult part of the project in general was trying to get everyone together at the same time to work on it.
What did you learn?
Lindsay : I learned a lot from working on this entry. The project encompassed more than just marketing a product. We got hands on experience with a small supply chain, testing, marketing and branding, and consumer research.
Anna: I learned more about different fabric properties that can be applied to improve a product.
What was the best part?
Andrea: The best part was working with a great group.
Lindsay: Learning in a more practical way was one of the best parts of the competition. Concepts are easier to understand when they are being put into practice. (Winning 2nd place was also an upside!)