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2017 Creative Technology and Design exhibition poster.
#EXPERIENCE – 2017 Creative Technology & Design Annual Exhibition
Gallery FIT
December 5, 2017 – January 6, 2018 

The age of image branding is coming to an end. In a world of instant and constant sharing, even a brilliantly designed brand image cannot create value that doesn’t exist or sustain a fabricated brand story. Brands today operate in an omni-channel world where the customer relationship is always on, and the rapidly growing complexity of digital communication makes understanding the dynamics of customer experiences a major challenge.

A new wave of innovative design professionals drafted a new playbook. It starts with understanding the strategic role of the consumer’s journey in brand experience. This playbook has a name: “Experience Design.” Experience Design is a new way of digital thinking. It uses brand architecture as a compass for identifying differentiated value and experience. It establishes a conceptual framework for designing products, services, and customer interactions. 

The third annual Creative Technology and Design exhibition, #EXPERIENCE, focuses on the exploration of new possibilities in Experience Design. This exhibition showcases the most innovative design projects from FIT’s Creative Technology courses, such as Digital Typography, Content-centric App Design, Kinetic Typography, User Experience Design, and Design for Web-based Interface. 

This exhibition concept was conceived by the co-coordinators of the Creative Technology program, Christie Shin and C.J. Yeh. The call for submissions was announced in September 2017, and the jury panel reviewed more than150 projects in order to select the best for this exhibition. The categories for submission included digital typography, content design, digital product design, interaction design, and user experience design. Every project in the exhibition demonstrates creative and innovative uses of Experience Design principles. To demonstrate the link between these student projects and current industry practices, selected professional projects from the alumni, faculty, and advisory board members of the program are also on view.

Image: 2017 Creative Technology and Design exhibition poster.


John Cowan for Vogue, November 1964.
Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme
Special Exhibitions Gallery
September 15, 2017 – January 6, 2018 

Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme examines high fashion inspired by clothing made for survival in the most inhospitable environments on earth and beyond. Today’s luxurious parkas trace their roots to the “heroic era” of polar navigation (1890 to 1922), while down-filled “puffer” coats and backpacks were originally perfected for extreme mountain climbing in the mid-twentieth century. Experimental, high tech materials made for exploration to otherworldly realms — such as neoprene (deep sea) and Mylar (outer space) — made their way onto the runway.

Expeditions to these extreme environments were motivated primarily by interest in the natural world that flourished during the Victorian era. Thanks to the theoretical works of Charles Darwin and the wildly popular science fiction books by Jules Verne, expeditions became increasingly popular, aspirational endeavors.

On view in Expedition is a historical fur garment created in Siberia, as well as adaptations of indigenous Arctic clothing by the pioneering American explorer, Matthew Henson. Also included are the earliest down-filled jackets, dating to the 1930s, and other technologically experimental objects engineered for polar and mountain exploration. These expedition-worthy garments are placed alongside a range of fantastic and outrageous fashions from the 1960s, as well as a dramatic selection of contemporary designs.

Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme is also the title of the exhibition’s companion book, published by Thames & Hudson.

Read more about Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme.

Image: John Cowan for Vogue, November 1964.


1997 Martin Margiela linen tunic with dress form lettering printed on the front
The Body: Fashion and Physique
Fashion & Textile History Gallery
December 5, 2017 – May 5, 2018 

Fashion is inextricably linked to the physical form of the wearer. The cut of a garment draws the eye to zones of the body, simultaneously accentuating and concealing in order to achieve a desired silhouette. Elaborate undergarments, diet regimens, exercise routines, and even plastic surgery have all been promoted as necessary tools for attaining the ideal fashion shape. However, the idealized fashionable body is a cultural construct. Over the last 250 years, full hips, narrow hips, feminine waists, and boyish frames have each, at different times, been hailed as the pinnacle of beauty. According to a Vogue article from 1950, “A ‘figure’…is considered good or bad only as related to clothing generally, and current fashions specifically.” The Body: Fashion and Physique  explores the complex history of the “perfect” body in fashion.

This exhibition examines the broader relationship between the fashion industry and body politics from the nineteenth century to the present. 50 objects from the collection of The Museum at FIT are on view, alongside clippings, photographs, and videos from the popular press. The Body: Fashion and Physique elucidates the impact the fashion industry has had on how people have viewed and treated their bodies throughout history. It also considers how fashion has contributed to the marginalization of certain body types within our culture.

Read more about The Body: Fashion and Physique.

Image: Maison Martin Margiela, tunic, linen, spring 1997, Belgium, museum purchase.