Delta Jacket Invention Among InVenture Prize Finalist

Aya Ayoubi headhsot with InVenture Prize Finalist Spotlight

Georgia Tech Industrial Design Senior, Aya Ayoubi was announced as one of six finalists for the 2021 Georgia Tech InVenture Prize. The InVenture Prize, now on it's 13th edition, brings some of Georgia Tech's most creative student innovators together to compete for the first-place prize of $20,000, and second place-prize of $10,000, along with support to receive U.S. patent filings by Georgia Tech’s Office of Technology Licensing.

The 2021 competition began with 58 teams and 140 participants and has narrowed down to six teams. Learn how industrial design, empathy, and cultural experiences have helped shape Aya's invention and problem-solving design - The Delta Jacket.

With such an excellent and human-centered invention, we wanted to connect with Aya to learn more about her and the Delta Jacket. Here is what we learned!

What Makes You A Designer?

Aya Ayoubi: I’ve traveled far and wide to discover the meaning of "Industrial Design", from my home university of Georgia Tech to my experiences abroad in Singapore and the Netherlands. The more I learn, the less I’m sure of what it is, and I’m left in awe. My constant exploration and critical thinking make me an adaptable learner, a sponge willing to soak up all the skills necessary to get my hands dirty and create out-of-the-box concepts and human-centered designs.

Connect with Aya: LinkedIn  |  Delta Jacket

What Inspired You To Design The Delta Jacket?

Ayoubi: Back in Jordan, where I am from, we have a refugee crisis. A crisis where people are leaving their countries with only the clothes on their backs. Hence came the idea for “Humanitarian Couture”, garments that could aid a humanitarian crisis. In Georgia, there may not be refugees, but there are many people affected by homelessness with the same heartbreaking stories.

How Has Your Industrial Design Background Helped?

Ayoubi: As designers, we like to derive insight from our target users themselves, which makes our designs more human. By realizing that one of the biggest pain-points of people who are chronically homeless is the disconnect between their nomad lifestyle and their heavy impractically moveable bedding, I sought to create a solution that makes their bedding as mobile as they are. Using biomimicry as my main inspiration, emulating the way that penguins can puff up to retain heat, I was able to come up with the Delta Jacket to solve that issue.

What Was Your Biggest Challenge During This Project?

Ayoubi: My biggest challenge during this project was figuring out the intricacies of the garment I sought to create. Since this jacket had to be air-tight, I couldn’t sew it together like any traditional jacket. I had to find the right material and manufacturing process to solve that issue, which is farther than I’d come in most of my other projects. By putting those two factors of the design together, I was able to realize a technology with a lot of different benefits and applications.

What Have You Learned Through This Project?

Ayoubi: There were so many lessons learned from this project from material analysis and manufacturing to ethnographic studies and plain, old-fashioned empathy. Overall, this project helped me start thinking of industrial design as designing a system or experience rather than just a product. It was very interesting to research, design, prototype, market and call manufacturers/distributors/endorsers, which we don’t usually do in studio. I’m thankful that the InVenture Prize encouraged me to explore the system behind the Delta Jacket.

Where Do You Hope To See This Project Go?

Ayoubi: Unfortunately, people affected by homelessness themselves can’t buy this jacket, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for it. The attributes needed by the homeless in a jacket are the same ones that campers need, for instance, so if I win the InVenture Prize I hope to use that initial investment to sell this jacket as camping outerwear, and for every jacket I sell, one will be donated to a homeless person. Either way, the issue of homelessness is ever-growing, and supporting the cause in any way, be it through showing your support of the project during the InVenture prize, or through self-led efforts, can make the world a better, kinder place.

I’m trying to show the judges that there is in fact interest in the product, or at least its humanitarian aspect, through tallying the number of supporters on this website: If you’re interested in the subject, I invite you to fill out your contact info for a chance to order your own Delta Jacket once it’s manufactured. Either way, it can help the pitch and thus the cause.

Have a Question for Us?

If you can't find the information you were looking for, we'll get you to the right place.