Anyone who has squeezed into a crowded airplane knows that travel can be a serious invasion of privacy. The average person reserves a 12-foot radius for social space, and ever-shrinking travel accommodations rarely leave room for a personal bubble.
Jackson Kerbs, a junior studying multi-disciplinary design, combined his interests in product design and fashion to address this problem. He created a garment that allows for greater privacy while traveling in public spaces. The design, which resembles an oversized sweatshirt, includes a hood and veil over the face and drawstrings that cinch at the arm and waist. While sitting down, the garment can easily cover up a person’s entire body, preserving warmth and maintaining personal space. The fabric, made of felt, is winter-ready and designed for maximum comfort.
Kerbs went through several prototypes before finalizing the current design. The original drawings included a full mask and helmet, but Kerbs slowly adapted his creation to better fit the context of use. He ultimately decided on a garment that provided extra privacy while discreetly blending in with everyday streetwear.
Though only one garment exists right now, Kerbs plans on tweaking the design and streamlining the production process. Until then, we will have to wait until this garment turns public transportation from a slog to a sanctuary.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2019 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers and entrepreneurs.