Design and Product Development

Exploring the Functional, Expressive, and Aesthetic Needs of Generation Z Wheelchair Users to Inform the Design of a Functional Outdoor Jacket

Authors
  • Jia Wu (University of Missouri-Columbia)
  • Kerri McBee-Black (University of Missouri)
  • Li Zhao (University of Missouri)

Abstract

This research addresses the challenges faced by Generation Z Wheelchair Users (GZWU) in finding appropriate outdoor jackets that meet their functional, expressive, and aesthetic needs. Despite the growing interest in adaptive clothing for people with disabilities, there is still a gap in the market for stylish and functional outdoor clothing designed specifically for GZWU. Using the FEA Consumer Needs Model as a framework, this study explored the specific requirements for outdoor jackets, focusing on comfort, flexibility, accessibility, and resilience to natural disasters. Interviews with two GZWU participants revealed the challenges they face, including limited selection, difficulty in finding well-fitting and durable jackets, and the impact of weather conditions. The study emphasizes the importance of meeting the unique needs of GZWUs in apparel design to enhance inclusiveness and diversity in the fashion industry.

Keywords: Wheelchair users, FEA model, outdoor jacket

How to Cite:

Wu, J., McBee-Black, K. & Zhao, L., (2024) “Exploring the Functional, Expressive, and Aesthetic Needs of Generation Z Wheelchair Users to Inform the Design of a Functional Outdoor Jacket”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 80(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/itaa.17246

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Published on
22 Jan 2024
Peer Reviewed