SXSW: Refinery 29’s School of Self Expression is a fashion-tech playground
By Sarah Housley

The pop-up experience takes creativity back to the drawing board. WGSN Lifestyle & Interiors editor Sarah Housley got a first look

Mar 13, 2016
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Featuring doodle walls, chalkboards, customised lockers and an old-school classroom, the Refinery 29 School of Self Expression takes your worst memories of high school and makes it all better. In this space, everyone’s free to be themselves – from the inspirational Miranda July quotes on the walls to a supersize dressing up box, the emphasis is on curiosity and creating a sandbox for creativity.

Refinery 29

Refinery 29

Held in collaboration with Neiman Marcus, the School is decorated throughout in marker-pen and collage style, and features an offbeat trophy cabinet, a prop-filled space for photo shoots, and a bench-filled seminar space where each student leaves clutching a back-to-school-style acrylic folder of inspirational reading material. Classes range from feminism and photography to the future of wearables.

Refinery 29

Refinery 29

Refinery 29

Inside the School’s individually customised lockers, you’ll find trending tech products to check out and try for yourself, from the Muse brainwave-tracking relaxation headset to Alexa Chung’s social shopping app, Villoid.

Refinery 29

Add to that an open wardrobe stocked with clothes and accessories to try on with the help of augmented reality app Reify, and you have a full-on, visual playground for fashion and tech enthusiasts.

LIKE THIS? Check out Refinery 29’s previous immersive experience, 29 Rooms.

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