Australia’s newest hub for fashion education and research has been created at RMIT’s Brunswick campus, with the official launch of a flagship building redevelopment.
Students and staff from the School of Fashion and Textiles are enjoying new studios, production labs and community spaces in the redeveloped Building 516.
The $8 million refurbishment, designed by Spowers and Phooey Architects, includes a 190-seat interactive lecture theatre, new design studios, digital audio and video equipment, breakout lounges and specialist machine rooms.
Professor Robyn Healy, Head of School of Fashion and Textiles, said the iconic building would be a creative environment with flexible spaces specifically designed for fashion design practice.
“Enhanced with the latest digital and production technologies, our new services will allow students to respond to the changing and future demands of the fashion industry,” she said.
“The development of new facilities on the Brunswick campus supports the positioning of RMIT Fashion and Textiles in the top 10 global fashion design institutes.”
Building 516 was officially launched by Vice-Chancellor and President, Martin Bean CBE, with a keynote address by RMIT alumnus and CEO of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, Graeme Lewsey.
Lewsey, who is also Chair of the Program Advisory Committee for the RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles, said RMIT has raised the bar by investing in the creative fashion marketplace.
“The launch of Building 516 will maintain the School of Fashion and Textiles’ reputation nationally, regionally and globally as the southern hemisphere’s most equipped, invested and talent-rich hub on offer,” he said.
“I sit on a number of judging panels and the calibre of entries from RMIT fashion and textiles students are always of an exceptional standard.”
RMIT and VAMFF share a rich history, with many students and staff contributing to the festival’s creative diversity.
The VAMFF National Graduate Showcase celebrates 12 graduates from fashion institutions across Australia, with RMIT alumni submitting outstanding work each year.
“RMIT has consistently represented the most qualified and talent-rich students in the final 12,” Lewsey said.
“The free-flow of creativity and professionalism is ever-present.”
RMIT’s School of Fashion and Textiles is globally acclaimed for its dynamic, challenging and industry-recognised programs.
Recent graduates from the Bachelor of Fashion (Design) (Honours), Alexander Kelvy and Grace Butterworth, were awarded the 2014 Australian Fashion Foundation Scholarship, worth $20,000 each, and a six-month internship at their choice of a renowned European or American fashion house.