Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Ada Lovelace Day Conrtibution: Diana Eng!

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, and I'm joining many bloggers by celebrating women excelling in technology. The first one to come to mind was one of the first people I wrote about in this blog. If you've been here before, you may remember it all started with a little show called Project Runway, just before their second season. My favorite contestant on that season, and I contend the most kick-ass person to ever be on the show, nay, reality television:

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Diana Eng, self-proclaimed "Nerd and Fashion Deisgner". She was an automatic favorite of sorts because she graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, not twenty minutes away from where I grew up, but I was completely swept away when in her audition, she introduced a hoodie that contained a small camera and a heart monitor. When the wearer's heart rate increased, the camera snapped a photo of whatever they were viewing.
Eng didn't make it to the final rounds on Project Runway, unfortunately, because, among other things, Michael Kors doesn't understand how magnets work. (Me? Bitter?) There's also the fact that the time and material constraints of the show didn't make room for her skills with technology (though in 2006, she did design and create ablogging purse with two teammates in less than 24 hours).

Of course, Eng is too good for me to define her through the show. When she was only 22, an inflatable dress she designed had been featured on ID Magainze. Here's the cover, and her blog entry marking it:

"I've dreamt of making it into ID magazine since I was 13. As a child I made really awful pamphlets and brochures documenting my latest design ideas for things such as nesting tea cups and landscape inspired furniture. Then I would send the brochures off to ID mag editors positive that they would feature me the next month. I was never selected. And after going to art school I've often wondered what they thought of my subpar entries. But this month I made the cover with the inflatable dress I made with Emily Albinski. The gorgeous girl in the photo is my roommate JungIn You."

Her first book, Fashion Geek, came out March 17th, full of projects for tech-savvy. She also helped found the hacker group NYC Resistor, where members "meet regularly to share knowledge, hack on projects together, and build community". She's included in their own Ada Lovelace day post, wearing what I believe is the same fibonacci scarf pictured above - a fibonacci scarf!

You can follow what Diana Eng is up to at her blog, Fashion Nerd.
Thanks Diana, for being my technology heroine, and showing literally millions of girls and women how fashionable math and science can be!