If you Google the word “innovation,” you will get 595 million entries—up 40 million from just last month when I last checked. Clearly, it is a buzzword in business and academia. It is a buzzword here at FIT, too, but one that surely applies since it is part of our daily conversation on curriculum and the label we consciously and correctly place on so many of our initiatives. As you page through this issue of Hue, dedicated to innovation, you will see just a few examples: faculty research in wearable technology, cosmetics, textiles, biophilic design; emerging technology in the classroom; an alumnus’s foray into 3D-printed shoes; advanced inroads in sustainability; the exciting projects emerging from our FIT/Infor Design and Tech Lab; and FIT’s membership in the national Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA).

Our efforts in this realm have been inspired and nurtured, in good part, by the college’s strategic plan, whose second, and most aspirational, goal is that FIT be “an innovation center for creative industries worldwide.” That is a tall order, but one we expect eventually to fulfill. Indeed, in spring 2017, with the assistance of a consulting firm and in collaboration with a cross section of the entire FIT community, we developed a strategic plan for innovation at FIT. Its 11 recommendations, accompanied by an action-oriented timeline, not only provide a roadmap that will integrate, strengthen, and formalize our efforts, but will also accomplish our goal—and transform FIT into an eminent innovation leader. In the fall, we will continue our community-wide conversation about the plan with town hall meetings—and start its implementation as well. Enjoy this issue of Hue—and stay tuned!

Dr. Joyce F. Brown