FIT: The MIT for the Fashion Industry?

One of FIT’s founders, Morris Ritter, famously said, “What we need is an MIT for the fashion industry.” Seventy-seven years later, we are well on our way. There is, after all, the very successful, ongoing partnership we forged with MIT three years ago to see what could be developed in workshops which bring together their engineering students with our design students. But these days, there is a good deal more. In fact, FIT faculty and student research activity has never been more robust. One example: FIT today is the recipient of four active grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the most in our history. In some, we are collaborating with research university giants such as Carnegie Mellon, Stony Brook University and Drexel University.

There is good reason for that: more and more, scientists and engineers are beginning to understand the value of good design, and for that, I am pleased to say, they come to FIT. They recognize, too, the strength of our own faculty scientists and all they can bring to projects, particularly those involving advanced textiles.

While our MIT/FIT workshop students and their MIT peers are creating future-focused footwear for New Balance, our NSF grantees have projects that range from programming a nutrition app for young people to creating a sustainable muslin.

I am incredibly proud of the ambition and ingenuity our faculty and students have demonstrated in these projects. They’ve been supported with great skill and creativity by our Office and Grants and Sponsored Programs.

To learn more about the four exciting projects funded by the National Science Foundation-—and the faculty and students involved—here is a link to FIT Newsroom, which devoted a full edition to the topic.