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Faculty of Communication & Design

FCAD Announces Ben Barry as Director of Centre for Fashion Diversity and Social Change

FCAD has launched a new research centre and has names Ben Barry, as director. The following note from Charles Falzon, Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Design was released internally to all FCAD faculty and staff:

I am pleased to announce the launch of the Centre for Fashion Diversity and Social Change. This new centre will explore fashion’s power to foster diversity, equity and inclusion, and lead social change through the creation and dissemination of alternative fashion objects and media. The FDSC will collaborate with interdisciplinary scholars to develop transmedia approaches to creatively analyze and share research on the diversity in fashion and its associated creative industries. The centre, which will be based in the School of Fashion, will be directed by Ben Barry

This centre’s mandate is to:

o   Develop interdisciplinary theoretical knowledge on identity, diversity and design as well as foster methodological innovation in arts-informed and practice-led research.

o   Combat negative body image by developing strategies to foster body confidence and self-esteem, particularly for marginalized groups.

o   Challenge societal stereotypes and norms that reinforce inequality and exclusion by developing strategies to celebrate diversity and difference.

o   Support the economic innovation of Canada’s fashion and associated creative and design industries by developing strategies to harness Canada’s natural asset: diversity.

The centre’s first project is SSHRC funded Refashioning Masculinity, which examines and re-imagines men’s gender identities and embraces diversity. By challenging stereotypes about men and masculinity, it investigates how men construct their identity through appearance and how self-presentation is a powerful tool for social change. Along with a magazine spread, this project will launch a transmedia fashion presentation in May 2016.

Ben, and his team will look to partner with other zones on campus including the Fashion Zone and Joe Fresh Centre, and look for industry partners who are interested in taking an active role in the discussion of diversity in fashion, to execute their plan for change.

This initiative is jointly supported by FCAD, the office of the Provost and the School of Fashion.















Charles Falzon

Faculty of Communication and Design