Written by RJ Scalzo 

Photographed by Lucii Artigas 

Last Thursday, Feb. 23, the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) and Interior Design Organization (IDO) hosted the annual Beaux Arts Ball for building arts students, professionals and guests. Attendees donned outfits for the future to match this year’s theme of futuristic fashion and architecture.

Barrett Higginbotham, AIAS Beaux Arts Ball Director, spoke on the collaborative effort that went into creating the environment and marketing for this year’s ball.

“We organized a team of motion media artists and animators [to create] this beautiful projection art,” said Higginbotham. “They created these projection masks that … bring the digital into the atmosphere.”

Truly, the addition of these virtual projections completely reshaped the feel of the American Legion Ballroom. On mannequins and pilasters, projectors displayed cool toned patterning that shifted and changed as the ball went on.

In one corner of the room, clips from the promotional video for the ball played in a loop, depicting students in bizarre, futuristic attire.

“That was a great experience, organizing all of AIAS and IDO to come together to create a promotional video with a filmmaker,” said Higginbotham, “we also collaborated with a fashion designer to dress us in a way that could communicate the theme.”

For both their outfits and projections, the designers “experimented a lot with patterning and how that can reflect the digital age.” Through this, the motif of the motherboard emerged which was seen on the laser cut badges many students wore and the changing projections.

The Beaux Arts Ball is a place for gathering and communicating, and this was seen most clearly through the powerful collaborative efforts that resulted in this year’s ball.

“My biggest takeaway from this experience,” said Higginbotham, “is the value that people of different backgrounds in design [coming] together to create an experience that is so much more valuable than something that we could have done alone. Seeing other people’s passions come together for one vision has been the most rewarding part for us.”