Foto: Lisa Klappe

Constructing Connectivity

Jessica Smarsch


Constructing Connectivity is a person-centered stroke rehabilitation method that addresses the need to quicken and improve recovery, motivate the patient, and provide connection to support systems. It combines 1) a comfortable shirt that captures body movement and 2) an app that inspires creativity, interprets data into visual patterns and written reports, quantifies and tracks progress, and connects the patient to the community. The system incorporates environmental and economic sustainability. It recycles and reuses the technological components of the garment and provides a stylish accompanying shirt that can be worn long past rehabilitation. Healthcare costs are reduced when patients return home sooner. The patient’s experience is the most important part of Constructing Connectivity and this is reflected in the design sensitivity of all its components. The aim is to improve the rehabilitation experience, and therefore improve therapy adherence. The system blends creativity with goal setting and uses rhythmic multi-sensory stimulation to help create more synaptic connections in the brain (Raymond van Ee, et al. The Journal of Neuroscience, September 16, 2009 • 29(37):11641–11649).


Concept, design, and direction: Jessica Smarsch
Advisors: Raymond van Ee, PhD, Christel Verboven, PhD
Product development collaborators: Vention Technologies B.V., Metafas B.V., ItoM-Medical B.V., Fraunhofer IZM, Knitwear Lab, POL Studio
Film and sound: Gabriele Mariotti, Salatore Sapienza
Actors: Suzanne van der Horst, Reem Wittenbols
Product Photography: Lisa Klappe
Models: Adam Lugungu Maketa, Jolanta Kulik
S+T+ARTS Prize Film Documentary: Jessica Smarsch
With supported from: Re-Fream, Worth Partnership Project, and Wear-Sustain EU grants and MIT Feasibility Study Dutch grant

Jessica Smarsch (US) is an internationally recognized designer who collaborates cross-sector to bring beauty, creativity and enhanced user experience to technological, scientific and industrial innovations. She is passionate about systemic and disruptive innovation design that enhances well-being, quality of life, user experience, community connection, and circularity. She is inspired by subject-behavior relationships that create mindful experiences in connection with whole-body health and well-being, and she is motivated by the unique outcomes that unexpected collaborations produce.