Category: student competition

Urban Studio creates a splash at Art Basel

By , December 8, 2011 3:36 pm

“Art Basel is to the art world what Fashion Week is to the fashion world,” says Melissa Starke, advisor for the FIT Fine Arts club Urban Studio.  This year Urban Studio was selected to participate in Art Basel Miami Beach, a contemporary art exhibition held every December since 2002. Art Basel is referred to as the “Olympics of the art world.”

Urban Studio created and installed a 16-foot sculpture, partially submerged in a pool of water, for ArtNow/Red Dot Art Fair, an exhibition site at Art Basel.

"Stroke and Poke" installation by Urban Studio

The installation is ingeniously held by sand bags attached to the bottom of the sculpture and strung by cable at the top to adjacent roof tops.  Its concept comes from “Schopenhauer’s Porcupine,” a book by Deborah Anna Luepnitz, which explores the “push-pull of intimacy and its dilemmas,” says Starke. The porcupine, with its “protective spikes,”  is the metaphor for the contradictions of human intimacy.

"Stroke and Poke"installation being hoisted by Urban Studio members

Students Brittany Gray and Eric Gottshall, along with sculpture technician Pansum Cheng, lift the sculpture into the water.

“It’s an extraordinary experience for the students to have this ‘hands-on’ opportunity to work on an endeavor of such enormous prestige. It helps them see the connection between their studio practice and what actually happens in the art world,” says Starke.

Urban studio participant Eric Gottshall got the connection.  “It proved to be the moment where our education met the real world playing field,” said Gottshall. “I’ve never been part of a collective where the universal strive for creating something new and different was more of the essence. Because of it, this experience will always stand out in my life.”

photos provided by Melissa Starke

Natasha Melo helping us locate lipstick, eyeliner & more

By , November 23, 2011 1:05 pm

When multiple varieties of lipsticks, perfumes and eyeliners at the cosmetics store start looking like a mirage, store owners might want to contact  Natasha Melo for a redesign. The VEPD student is the first-place winner of the 2011 Planning and Visual Education Partnership competition (PAVE).  The competition was judged on  store layout and designs of the individual fixtures within it.  Melo’s entry modeled Sephora, the beauty and cosmetic retailer.

“Piece-by-piece the customer can put together their very own look,”  Melo states in her project’s concept. “Like a mosaic, many different pieces come together to form a look or work of art. Geometric shapes can be broken apart and put back together to form new shapes, and these fixtures within the store were designed to do the same.”

From Natasha Melo's Piece-by-Piece PAVE entry

“Natasha did an excellent job of integrating her concept throughout the entire design from the small scale fixtures to the overall store layout,” said VEPD Chair Craig Berger who also noted the strong entries FIT had this year.

Sephora store layout by Natasha Melo

The competition is one of the top student award programs for store design. There are over 500  entries submitted worldwide. Melo’s work was chosen from 400 entries. On December 7 2011 , Melo will receive her award at Cipriani Wall Street15th Annual PAVE Gala .

The competition provides an excellent opportunity for students to obtain real-life retail design experience. Prizes include grants to students and schools. FIT has used proceeds from previous winning years to fund materials and printing of current presentations.  This victory comes after another AAS student, Elyse Falato was selected as a finalist in the PAVE 3D Design Challenge.  Finalists will be on view at Globalshop 2012 in Las Vegas.

Images provided by VEPD dept.

Team Guru & Team Axis score big!

By , October 3, 2011 3:32 pm

FIT students have proven that it may all be in the packaging after all. Amidst strong competition from 10 other colleges and universities, FIT Packaging Design students won 1st and 2nd place in the Paperboard Packaging Alliance 2011 Student Design Challenge.

1st place Team GURU: l-r Tim McLaughlin, Linda Conlin, Katie Klausner, Shari Baitcher, Ryan Irven

Team Guru and Team AXIS won first and second place respectively. Team Play was considered a finalist of this year’s competition, ranking in the top seven overall entries.

Sandra Krasovec, Associate Professor of Brand Packaging Design Department, explained what the Challenge entailed:  “It was to develop a paperboard package for a smart phone with two tiers of branding and pricing. The first design was for a high-end smart phone, keeping within sustainable parameters in regards to package size and use of materials. As well, it was to be a collector package. The designs then had to be revised to meet market demands for retailing a less expensive version of the phone, so the value perception of the package had to match. It was indeed a complex packaging challenge!”

2nd place Team L7 Axis: l-4 Will Paybarah, Liv Frederiksen, Louis Annunziata, Mihaela Savu

Participants were recognized at an awards’ luncheon held in the Las Vegas Convention Center during PackExpo. PackExpo is an industry convention that exhibits packaging, processing and converting, which highlights innovations in materials and production technologies. This is the second year in a row that FIT students have won the top two awards.

Check out student work at:

photos by Sandra Krasovec

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