November 14, 2017

Student collaborates with Lululemon to re-imagine data using visual analytics


By Alisha Pillay

With beginnings in Vancouver, Lululemon is a yoga-inspired retail company that has grown to become an international phenomenon. Housing a state-of-the-art design lab like Whitespace, it’s no surprise that the brand is on top of the latest technologies and innovations in athletic apparel.

Last summer, Gökhan Çetin, a graduate student in the School of Interactive Arts & Technology, had the unique opportunity to work on a number of research and development projects for Whitespace. With assistance from professor Wolfgang Stuerzlinger, Çetin used visual analytics to make sense of the data collected by the lab for various initiatives.

“Basically, we summarized the data in graphical form to make it easier for the research and development team to look at, understand and draw high-level conclusions from. There are several ways that you can display information—and every perspective offers an opportunity to unlock new meaning."

Çetin’s six-month placement was facilitated by Mitacs, a non-profit organization that builds partnerships to support industrial and social innovation in Canada. During that time, he worked alongside a diverse range of professionals, including scientists, yoga instructors and even apparel makers.

Overall, Çetin says his experience at Lululemon was both eye-opening and valuable, and he encourages other undergraduate and graduate students to get involved with Mitacs for similar professional and learning opportunities.