Gearing Up To help expose students to next-generation equipment, FIT launched an Emerging Technology Review Committee, chaired by Joanne Arbuckle, deputy to the president for Industry Partnerships and Collaborative Programs, and Greg Fittinghoff, acting vice president for Information Technology and CIO. Faculty suggest high-tech purchases that could benefit the classroom experience and the committee researches all submissions and chooses which to buy. Check out some of these cool technologies transforming the classroom experience. —Jonathan Vatner
Five new gadgets and software enriching FIT classrooms
On Virtual Reality Day in February, students painted in a 3D virtual space using Google Tilt Brush.
Virtual reality, evolved from video games, is expected to touch almost all art and design industries, from advertising to toys. “If you look at what venture capital firms are investing in, this is going to be the next internet,” Thomas McManus, associate professor of Advertising Design, says. Interior designers will be able to walk clients through rooms before the concrete is poured, and fashion designers will be able to drape on virtual mannequins. FIT owns two VR setups, including HTC Vive headsets, controllers, signal towers, and a powerful MSI laptop computer. Virtual reality may be fun and flashy, but experts predict that augmented reality—the laying of computer-generated imagery atop the real world—will make a greater impact on our future. (Consider the unprecedented success of the mobile AR game Pokémon Go.) Using Arilyn, an augmented-reality software, Toy Design Chair Judy Ellis is piloting an AR program to make storybooks come alive, and Jewelry Design Chair Wendy Yothers is using it to enhance lab safety training. Also, Communication Design Professor C.J. Yeh implanted a video in the Future of Fashion runway show invitation that played when recipients pointed their phones at an enclosed card. Advertising Design students Andrea Nelson, Dohyun Lee, Thomas Hawkins, and Iwona Usakiewicz tested the new camera.
Associate Professor Thomas McManus, Advertising Design, is using a new Ricoh Theta S 360-degree camera to explore this immersive filmmaking format with his students. “The 360-degree format is like a play,” he says. “I challenge the students to create narratives where you need to look around.” For example, one of his classes is creating a 360-degree video of a game of Spin the Bottle.
A Phantom 4 drone will allow photography classes to capture images that were previously only possible from aircraft and cranes. Associate Professor Brian Emery’s classes will practice in the gym and the John E. Reeves Great Hall, then shoot cityscapes from droneapproved parks—as flying drones is illegal in most of New York City.
hue | fall 2017
Rachel Nhan, Fashion Design ’14, 3D-printed the shoulder piece of her “Entity” dress at FIT.
FIT has owned 3D printers for years; in fact, PrintFX’s FabLab is equipped with models by Stratasys, FormLabs, and MakerBot. But new models are coming, with the capacity to print larger objects, such as a dress or handbag. And a neighboring classroom has been renovated into a research and innovation space where faculty can study a variety of emerging technologies.