Founded by Kate Unsworth in 2013, the Shoreditch based research and design house was built on its need to better understand how our dependence on technology affects our ability to be human. Now with the future in mind, Vinaya will delve deeper into the science of the modern human condition. So why the change? In their own words Vinaya shared, with FashNerd.com, the reasons behind their evolution:
“We are a research and design house creating lifestyle-enhancing technology products. We exist as two interconnected parts: Lab and Studio.
So began her mission to reset the balance between digital and physical. Quickly she realised that, despite best efforts, her attempts were futile as she didn’t have the right tools required. She realised she needed ALTRUIS.
Over the past two years, Kate and her co-founders Dan Möller and Fabio Pania have been busy building a likeminded team to help make their vision a reality. Each day has been consumed with philosophising, designing, engineering, researching, testing, strategizing, and optimising.
From humble beginnings, VINAYA is now a fast-growing family of curious minds, representing 18 countries and speaking over 30 languages collectively. The team is made up of engineers, data scientists, product designers, neuroscientists, digital anthropologists, strategists, and creatives.
In the past year, we’ve made a dent in the fashion and wearable technology worlds with mentions in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, The Financial Times, Fast Company, The New York Times, BBC, and many more. But these were just baby steps… Our learnings from building ALTRUIS have fuelled us with even more passion to widen our scope.
As VINAYA, our mission is to create a modern science hub that encourages cross-pollination of a range of expertise in order to better to understand the human psyche.
Sitting at the intersection of neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, and mindfulness, we delve into areas such as human connection, happiness, tranquility, stress, hyper-connectivity, depression, anxiety, sleep and productivity.
Our name draws inspiration from the sacred Sanskrit word ‘Vinaya’, referring to the disciplinary teachings of Buddha that play a pivotal role in monastic life. Unlike the Dharma– or the Truth expounded by Buddha, which is not changeable under any circumstances– certain Vinaya rules should in fact be adapted to reflect the modernisation of society. Similarly, we believe we must adapt to an ever-changing society and evolving technological landscape, but without losing connection to our core human truths. This is one of the greatest challenges faced by today’s generation.
In our Lab, we formalise a foundation for a body of research on the relationship between humans and technology. In our Studio, insights from our research are injected into designing meaningful technology products.
All of these activities will take place at our new home, VINAYA HO– USE, a 3-storey building in the heart of East London’s Shoreditch. We’ll soon open our doors to a community of experts and like-minded ideators, with a range of activities such as science lectures and cutting-edge experiments.
We believe that it’s only through facilitating such a human-centric research loop that we can arrive at meaningful solutions. Our aim is to become the go-to resource for lifestyle management in the digital age, and to pave the path for mindful technology innovation. “