November 20, 2014 - Comments Off on Make The Future Now: Get a Peek Into BF+DA’s New Accelerator Space in Brooklyn
There's something revolutionary about the new Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator space off of the Flushing G stop in Brooklyn. Maybe it's something about the space itself—seeing as its history is as rich as the work that will surely come of it—mixed with the people and enthusiasm within its walls. The space's opening event on November 11th almost seemed more like a pep rally than anything, with the program's makers and designers proudly displaying the fruits of their labors for passersby.
First, let's dig into the people and goals behind the initiative. Picture yourself as a recent college grad with no room for running your own endeavor—or simply throw yourself back to those real-life growing pains you remember like yesterday. In a world that's so focused on being self-made, that is a tough place to be. And as a respected arts and design establishment, Pratt knows this. So, instead of offering job placement advice or leaving grads completely on their own to fend for work, they decided to do something for up-and-coming creators. The Brooklyn Accelerator is a space for creatives to find the resources they need to make their ideas into reality, whether that's a desk to work on or a station for 3D printing (you can check out more of the available resources here). One of the most impressive assets was the larger-than-life mechanical loom humming away in one of the side rooms.
While it's easy to walk into a room of makers and quickly recognize what they're doing. But the BF+DA designers are doing much more than simply "making." To be a part of the program, they need to be focused on incorporating sustainable best practices into their work and, straight from the mouth of the program itself, "exploring the relationship of apparel + technology and the future of production."
The space itself is a maze of desks, dress forms, and display areas—all culminating in one community area in the very back. As the full house roamed the recently renovated space at the opening night, a small speech was happening in the back room. This is where that pep rally reference comes into play. Community leaders and makers alike took the podium to talk about their visions for the space and the current status of the creative job market today. If this pep rally had a cry, it would be: "Jobs, jobs, jobs!"—a phrase repeated many a time from speakers.
The space itself is an impressive hybrid of school building-turned-creative-sanctuary. Once you step into the building, you're hit by a feeling of nostalgia that brings you back to the days of heaping binders and student-painted walls—in this case, graffiti. Climb a few floors and walk into the doors of the Brooklyn Accelerator, and you're pulled into the details: work nooks, jars of alpaca wool, a neon-lit sign. It's an uber-productive labyrinth I'd happily peruse for hours.
While the program is great for recent grads, the space will also host various classes and workshops. You can find a full list of upcoming events here.
The hashtag for the event, and for the initiative in general, seems to say it all: #MakeTheFutureHere. Make sure to read up on the space, and stop by for a visit. Details on their website.