To Russia with Love

Most preoccupations FIT students have with snow and ice have to do with wearing enough layers to stay warm or piling on enough blankets at night. But three Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design students found a way to show their support of the Olympic community. Here are three of their window designs with rainbow motifs.

Audrey Guadagnoli
Audrey Guadagnoli

A three-member Sochi window team was formed in Prof. Peter-Tolin Baker’s freshmen Exhibition Design class. The team included Audrey Guadagnoli, Lilli Risler and Madelaine Auble.

“The assignment was to create three window designs central to a holiday pop theme,” says Prof. Baker. Each model is 15″ x 29″. “The challenge was blending a popular culture reference into a holiday winter-themed window,” he said.

“We had a hard time at first coming up with a pop culture reference,” says Guadagnoli.

“We didn’t want to take it too literally. We also didn’t want to do anything too ‘holiday’ because everyone would be doing that,” says Risler.

Sochi SMcopy
“Passing it on to you…Equality is in Your Hands”  Lilli Risler

One night Guadagnoli saw a commercial for the Winter Olympics. “It’s celebrated around the world. It stood out. We talked about it in class and our teacher mentioned the gay rights controversy. It added another layer to our window theme,” says Guadagnoli.

“It turned it into a pop culture theme,” says Risler. “We chose MAC Cosmetics because we thought they were likely to be sympathetic toward the cause.”

“Social commentary is a big feature in effective window display,” says VPED Chair Craig Berger. “It draws you into a current story that expands into a broader commentary. The Winter Olympics is such a great current story.”

Madelaine Auble

Prof. Berger says that this project is the first opportunity that students have in their courses to develop an individual display.

“Given the confines of the space, successful projects have to have a ‘wow’ factor,” says Berger. “Yet they also have to be executed with a great deal of craft to be seen up close. These windows achieve that.”

Guadagnoli agrees that “Everything has to be perfect. You make mistakes every project and you get critiques and apply it to your next window.”

Says Risler “You have to pay close attention to detail working at this size. It helped us learn to plan ahead.”

After a long day of classes, both Guadagnoli and Risler sneak in a recap of the Olympic games.

“Curling is my favorite,” says Guadagnoli. “My parents love it!”

“I really like the snowboarding half pipe,” says Risler.

The Sochi-themed windows from Prof. Peter-Tolin Baker exhibition design class are on the 4th floor of the Marvin Feldman Center, or C-building. They will remain up until early April.

To learn more about the Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design program, go to: VPED at FIT.

photos: Peter-Tolin Baker


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