students with professor looking at fabrics in fabric workshop


This workshop brought together the knowledge and experience of the FIT and MIT faculty, industry professionals, and guest speakers. Students explored 3D printing for design and production, artificial intelligence for predicting trends and creating fabric patterns, wearable technology, and garments that can be transformed into other apparel. Although some of the projects were conceptual, those concepts can help solve real-world problems, such as diversifying design, reducing the need for redundant garments or sections of one’s wardrobe, and making more comfortable, functional clothing.


Veronica Apsan, an FIT Fashion Design student, and Erika Anderson, a mechanical engineering student at MIT with a minor in design, conceived a T-shirt that can change color. As many people own basic clothing in different colors, this garment with wearable technology could radically pare down how many garments people buy and throw out. Additionally, it allows a single garment to be flexible to the varying tastes of an individual or season. The four other students in the workshop combined multiple ideas into a single concept. David Merchan, a materials science and engineering and physics student at MIT; Calvin Zhong, an MIT graduate who double-majored in architecture and comparative media studies; and Melanie Wong and Jesse Doherty, Fashion Design students at FIT, created a double-layer knit laboratory apron with reflective zippers that transforms into a dress or bag and has interchangeable pockets with customizable technological functions. For example, one pocket could have an energy socket that wirelessly charges a phone, while another could act as a hand sanitizer, using antimicrobial chemicals or ultraviolet LEDs worked into the fabric. The apron/dress itself could also be infused with conductive fibers that cool or warm the wearer.
manual loom machine with thread and loomed fabric
Presentations by the MIT/FIT fashion-tech workshop group

Status Update

The events and accomplishments of the workshop were covered in WWD. Both schools have expressed interest in repeating the program in the future.

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