Create the firefighter protective clothing for 2030


Firefighting requires comfortable clothing in order to increase performance and prevent heat exhaustion.

Current firefighting protective garments rely on external layers for fire and heat prevention based on high performance materials. However, those same products are bulky and limit mobility of firefighters. In addition, those layers have poor breathability and may increase the heat fatigue for the firefighter.

The challenge aims to develop new concepts and ideas for wearing future firefighters taking state-of-the-art technologies and textile materials with innovative designs to keep firefighters comfortable while protected and safe.

This means from one side to exploit new materials and integrated sensors to improve firefighter performances and work (i.e., sensor to detect human parameters or the environment and give info) and form the other to use materials able to provide a good comfort for their activities (10-15 hours). In the ideation of the new product new manufacturing processes could be considered as well (i.e., 3d printing).

More in details the students are asked to design two possible items:

  1. Undergarment
  2. Hood with integrated protection for the shoulders.

Both the items need to be designed by embracing both aesthetics and functionality and have to respect the international standard against fire.

Some key aspects for firefighting clothing are also interior layers (skin-contact), which improved with highly breathable fabrics such as COOLMAX and flame-resistant modifications. These innovations can increase the performance of the overall garment in terms of fire resistance while increasing breathability.

Keywords: high performance, protection, comfort, breathability, advanced textiles


The hackathon is free. To attend the hackathon, you must be student of one of the participating institutions (University of Borås, Sweden; Politecnico di Milano, School of Design, Italy; Design School Kolding, Denmark; LCI Barcelona – Escuela Superior de Diseño y Moda, Spain), enrolled at the time of the Hackathon. The Hackathon is entirely virtual, you would need only to connect from your laptop or computer with a stable internet connection. You can work remotely from your home. To develop and present the design solution you would need the design software you already use. You will work in a team of four students. Participants will be grouped by the Hackathon staff.


  • POSTPONED: Applications are open until 03/03/2021. Available places are limited: for this Hackathon, only 20 students will be selected, 5 from each participating institution (University of Borås, Sweden; Politecnico di Milano, School of Design, Italy; Design School Kolding, Denmark; LCI Barcelona – Escuela Superior de Diseño y Moda, Spain).
  • Selected participants will be announced on 04-05 March 2021. The participants will be grouped into five international and multi-background teams.
  • POSTPONED: The virtual hackathon will now take place from 11th March 2021 – 10:00 AM to 12th March 2021 – 2:30 PM. The five teams will be competing in the challenge and working remotely to develop and deliver a solution within 24 hours.
  • Evaluation. At the end of the Hackathon, the submitted solutions will be evaluated by a committee of experts to select the winner group.
  • Prize. The winner will be awarded a free pass to a 1-week Summer School in Milan in June 2021.


CP Aluart is a technical textile company founded in 1993 and specialized in the manufacture of fabrics and garments in circular knitwear for personal protection. Its philosophy is to manufacture all products locally to control the manufacturing process and offer the highest quality in the shortest possible time. This type of local manufacturing allows to ensure the non-use of harmful substances that may affect the user’s health or to the environment. When designing a technical product, may it be a fabric or a garment, it is done thinking about the protection that must be offered in each sector and always seeking the maximum comfort for the end user.


Pol Aluart
Technical Department, C. P. Aluart, S.L

Venere Ferraro
PhD, Assistant Professor at Politecnico di Milano, Design Department

Karen Marie Hasling
PhD, Assistant Professor at Design for Planet – Lab for Sustainability an Design – Design School Kolding

Razieh Hashemi Sanatgar
PhD, Researcher in Textile Materials Technology at Department of Textile Technology – University of Borås

Àlex Jiménez Higueras
Lead Project Manager at LCI Barcelona / Co-founder & Design Director at NUT Creatives

Ariadna Detrell
Cluster Manager at AEI Tèxtils

Daniela Amandolese
Research – EU projects at Materially

Tia Bilali
Project Manager at CRE.THI.DEV (Creative Thinking Development)

Silvana Laudoni
EU project manager and business consultant at CIAPE (Italian Center for Lifelong Learning)