We all live a little vicariously when we peek into a classroom where art and design creation is going on–whether it’s producing animations, illustrations, jewelry making, draping fabric, lighting a photography set or constructing a hat. All that focus and creative exploration! Every BFA Art & Design major has its allure, its cross-disciplinary components, and of course its solid course of study. Choosing one might seem monolithic. We picked out just a few of some of the cool factors overheard at this year’s BFA Fair, in hopes that it might help you clinch the deal.
Computer Animation & Interactive Media Computer Graphics
“Kids come into our program with the idea of learning a quarter of what we offer, and they end up falling in love with a whole different section of it that they didn’t know about,” says Prof. John Goodwin. “There’s interactive media! Animation–both 2D and 3D! Game design!”
Extra cool factor: “Just with the prerequisites alone you can get a job in advertising. There are so many jobs out there in image presenting motion,” says Prof. Goodwin.
“People think we just decorate and don’t realize how technical we are and how close we come to architecture,” says Interior Design Assistant Chair Carmita Sanchez-Fong. “We go to the heart of construction by understanding building regulations, mechanical systems and advanced methods of construction. If you want to see your designs come to life you must understand the technical end of design.”
Extra cool factor: “To become certified designers, the BFA is a tremendous plus,” says Prof. Sanchez-Fong.
Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design
“We’re using digital technologies to create environments and objects in real space. It’s very multidisciplinary,” says Steve Ceraso, VPED Technician. “Students love the process of creating vectors and seeing their CAD images come to life, of seeing their digital designs formed into real materials. It’s for people who want to use a lot of different media and mediums.”
Extra cool factor: “One of the biggest new things we’re doing involves the convergence of digital design and construction design,” says VPED Chair Craig Berger. “We’re invested a lot in the new software and hardware including a C&C router and a laser cutter while leveraging the Art and Design’s 3D printing capacity to integrate computer aided fabrication into the curriculum. The students love that stuff. It gets them jazzed!”
“We do a lot of work with kids. Story telling events, hands-on internships, working in day care centers, observing play patterns, and interactive experience as a teaching assistant,” says Toy Design Chair Judy Ellis. “Between their junior and senior years students have internships across the country. They’re full-time, paid, internships arranged through the department. Interviews are held during the Toy Fair.”
Extra cool factor: “Upcoming we have our event with Mod Haven charter school from the South Bronx,” says Prof. Ellis. “The children come for a story-telling session with a professional storyteller and drummer. They create an original story book. Students help with forming the story and illustrations.”
“It’s one of the unique departments at FIT because we have two different programs under the same roof–advertising design and graphic design, says Communications Design Assistant Chair CJ Yeh. “There is also a Creative Technology minor, which is a truly interesting program.”
Extra cool factor: “We’re currently doing a collaboration with the NFL. We have 25 students in the minor from nine different majors participating. We’re redesigning their visual system, which will be available globally on all the NFL merchandise.”
Cool factor: “The BFA graduating student work is judged at the Next Generation Awards held in partnership with the Accessories Council,” says Accessories Design Chair Sarah Mullins. “The awards are sponsored by high-profile brands and industry leaders. The event includes BFA collection and portfolio presentations that allow students to connect with members of the industry.
Says department Chair Marianne Klimchuk, “The intriguing thing is that this is about the first thing you touch in the morning–like toothpaste, makeup, shampoo, body wash perfume–and the last thing you touch at night–moisturizer, cold medicine, tissues. Packaging isn’t just about design, it’s about brand strategy, materials, manufacturing, production, global communication, consumer psychology. Packaging Design impacts the bottom line of a consumer product.”
Extra cool factor: “Because we’re the only packaging design BFA in the US, students are incredibly marketable,” says Prof. Klimchuk, “One hundred percent of last year’s class have industry jobs.” In a competition for Champagne last year, Packaging Design students won the first and second place out of 700 global submissions.
“Our program allows students greater opportunity to design their own ‘journey’ that fits their interests,” says Fashion Chair Eileen Karp. “For instance, a sportswear student can take major area selectives and related area selectives in knitwear. Or a knitwear student can take some intimate apparel selectives. Or a special occasion student can take intimate apparel selectives.”
Extra cool factor: “We have a lot of study abroad opportunities around the world with our own program in Italy,” says Karp.
Textile Surface Design
“If you love fashion and art you’ll love textiles,” says Nomi Kleinman, Assistant Chair of Textile Surface Design. “People don’t realize they might actually be more interested in the fabric itself than the finished product.”
Cool factor: “In Textile Surface Design you get to indulge in yarn, color, and design using wovens, screen prints, and mixed media. Students draw on historical and contemporary inspirations as well as develop their own personal aesthetic.”