The jacket that has your back.


Design Research

Product Design and Creation

Branding and Identity

Environmental Graphics

Student debt,

online dating,

and climate change, oh my.

As an innovation art project, I designed a product that addressed increasing anxiety levels in millennials. 


Target audience interviews backed up this research, with millennials citing anxiety triggered by everything from student debt and online dating, to climate change. My audience reported feeling stress mentally and physically, and described it as an impediment to entering adulthood.

Repurposing Comfort. 

This emphasis on transitional limitation led to a deep dive into attachment theory in children.


Reflection on the magical powers of the childhood teddies who once calmed these wayward millennials down prompted me to repurpose a children's comfort object into a socially acceptable transitional object for 'adults.'

The Bear Hunt.

You may think it would be easy to find life-size teddy bears *around,* but I had a time of it. Theo, pictured left, came from a Craigslist journey to Annapolis, where I met Dave, the father of Theo's owner and bff, Katie. 

When I showed up to collect Theo, I was told Katie was moving to New York for her first 'big girl job,' and had just left the house in tears because she was so upset that her father was selling her childhood teddy bear. 

Katie's anxiety in parting with her childhood teddy bear was heartbreaking—especially given the fact that I would be cutting off his head and turning it into a fashion statement in a matter of days—but reinforced the necessity of transitional objects in millennial lives.   

Teddy: The Jacket That Has Your Back.

Complete with a pressure activated sound device and lined with the soft reassurance of baby blankets, these coats hug the panic attack right out of you.

Muted tones and soft textures channel good vibes, keeping Teddy and his owners cool, calm, and collected, ready to take on piling student debt, awkward online dates, and under-employment like well-adjusted champs. 

Donate your teddy to the cause today.

Teddy was created before the rise of the teddy bear coat fashion craze. Some may say we started the trend.

A boxed lunch program connects the exhibition with neighborhood restaurants and incentivizes repeat visits.

Copyright 2021 by Rachel Matthews