In the latest issue of RISD XYZ, we ran this image from the RISD Archives showing the late great ID professor Marc Harrison (to the far right)…
and asking alums to help us figure out the project at hand. So far, the challenge has elicited this much-welcomed hypothesis from Per O. Hoel BID 74 writing from Gloucester, MA:
Hello RISD XYZ,Apparently the photograph on page 64 of the Fall/Winter 2013/14 issue has you stumped. I’m writing to provide information which may help solve the mystery. In my sophomore year I was attempting to pursue both Architecture and Industrial Design. In an architectural structures class each of us was given the task of designing and constructing a personal, portable shelter using corrugated cardboard as the primary material.
After the shelters were completed, we had to put them to use for a (long, cold) night out at Tillinghast Farm in Barrington. I’m the fellow in the red/white striped shirt shown setting up one of my shelter’s three configurations.
Prior to transporting my shelter to the farm, I took a few pictures of it on the RISD lawn along Benefit Street [aka the RISD Beach].
Although the photo of Marc from 1964 is from before my time at RISD, I have to assume that given the interest I know he had in structures (leading years later to the ILZRO house, for example – see Fall/Winter 12/13 issue of RISD XYZ) that he is pictured poking out from within some sort of collapsible shelter.
Marc was one of my professors and a friend who I know often collaborated with and influenced the architecture faculty. I remember that Kent Keegan was my instructor for the portable shelter project and think he may have been reliving history, so to speak.
Please pipe up via firstname.lastname@example.org if you know the names of the two unidentified people in the top photo or have stories and/or old photos of your own RISD shelter projects you’d like to share.
Prolific Providence-based artist Carolina Arentsen 91 IL is showing collages, scratch paintings, stuffed animals and more as part of the first holiday exhibit and sale at trendy (gallerie ellipsis) in Newport, RI. The show runs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 22 and gives holiday shoppers the opportunity to find original works of art for under $200. Dozens of artists are showing, offering everything from jewelry, photography and ceramics to textiles, stained glass and furniture.
When the Migrating Form festival opens at BAMcinématek in Brooklyn tomorrow, New York Times art critic and RISD honorary degree recipient Roberta Smith will introduce four shorts by Ryan Trecartin 04 FAV, an artist she predicts is “bound for greatness.”
The Trecartin films being screened at the edgy NY festival are from his latest Not Yet Titled videos, which premiered earlier this year at the 2013 Venice Biennale.
Some words of advice from start-up entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian to aspiring leaders: don’t ask for permission before putting an idea in motion. The co-founder of the insanely popular Reddit.com – an online hub where users upload their own content – visited Brown on Friday night to explain that it doesn’t take more than a laptop, an Internet connection and some imagination to create real change.
“The reason why I was able to get [Reddit] started is because of the permission-less innovation that exists on the Internet. I’m proof that you can create a website in your dorm room – and seven years later it’s one of the most popular websites on the planet,” explained Ohanian. “There is so much already happening and so much more to come.”
More than 200 people attended the packed lecture hosted by students in Brown’s Entrepreneurship Program and RISD’s E’Ship, a student club that helps students locate resources to support their own ambitious ventures. Ohanian is now on tour to promote his book Without Their Permission, an inspirational story that chronicles his successes.
To further his point, he referenced Humans of New York, a compelling photo blog that features gritty portraits of the city’s inhabitants. The “photographic census” has nearly one million followers on Facebook and Tumblr. Ohanian plans to visit RISD after the New Year to host a workshop on creative business practices.
“Alexis showed the RISD and Brown communities that there are creative people changing the world through failure, iteration and making,” noted Ryan Murphy 15 ID, one of the founders of E’Ship. “It was really encouraging to hear that we should’t be afraid to go after our passions.”
Kim DeMarco 88 IL (far right) recently traveled to the White House for the Annual Hanukkah Reception, as part of the team that whipped Thanksgivukkah into a cultural frenzy and broke Instagram records.
Sisters-in-law Dana and Deborah Gitell originally coined the term (and even copyrighted it), creating a Facebook page that eventually went viral. When they brought Kim on to help with the visuals, her revamp of American Gothic ended up in Time, the Boston Globe, the New York Times, USA Today and Haaretz in Israel. As befits this once-in-70,000-year concatenation, Thanksgivukkah culminated in a festival on November 29th at Pico Union, a community space that happens to be Los Angeles’ oldest synagogue.
New Orleans-based photographers Jennifer Shaw 94 PH (see spread above) and Meg Turner 08 PR (below) are among the two dozen artists with work in a great new book called Inventing Reality: New Orleans Visionary Photography (Luna Press).
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans is hosting a launch party for the book this evening, with a similar event at A Gallery for Fine Photography (where work from the book will be on view) this Saturday, the 14th.
Assuming you’re not in the neighborhood and able to drop by either event, there’s always the possibility of buying the book – for yourself or anyone who already loves the vibrant city or would appreciate understanding it at a deeper level.
Although Italy’s economy is still suffering, the northern Italian design firm Experientia – headed by founding partner Jan-Christophe Zoels MID 93 – has been working on a number of exciting projects near their home base and elsewhere around the world. According to Zoels, jobs taken on by the 30-person firm “are diverse but always involve deep integration of user research and service design.” Experientia’s designers recently worked with Intel on the future of healthcare services and launched a user-friendly ATM for Italy’s largest bank UniCredit.
Among the most mindboggling projects Experientia is engaged in is one led by Amsterdam-based architectural firm UNStudio. Through the massive Giant Observation Wheel or Nippon Moon project, the two firms are giving the Ferris wheel its first major makeover since it was introduced in 1893. The project fuses architecture and digital media to create a wild ride for future users in a yet-to-be-named Japanese city.
Rather than sitting in small, metal capsules, riders on the new wheel will board large, oblong, glass-enclosed pods enhanced with “augmented reality” technology that will allow them to communicate with riders in other pods and watch video images superimposed over the view outside.
Each of the 32 pods will offer a different theme. After downloading a dedicated app for smartphones and tablets, users will be able to introduce animations and sounds that enhance the theme or initiate virtual realities using the pod’s walls. The rich, layered experience should keep riders busy as the giant wheel spins, taking a full 40 minutes to complete each rotation.
Students in Rhonda Fargnoli’s Continuing Education (CE) knitting classes get hands-on experience creating patterns, designing yarns and working within the parameters of the professional knitting world. “Rhonda has an amazing rapport with her students,” says Margery Winter 69 PT/MAT 73, director of yarn development at Lion Brand Yarns, one of the oldest and largest distributors in the industry. “She is very nurturing and enthusiastic in her approach.”
Ann Faith and other CE knitting students frequently present their patterns to industry professionals.
Winter recently returned to RISD to speak to students in two of Fargnoli’s classes: Creating Original Designs and Patterns and Drawing for the Knitting Designer. Given her role at Lion Brand (which was founded in 1878 – a year after RISD ), she is eager to connect CE’s budding designers with the company’s creative director, giving students the real-world experience they crave. “Lion Brand has always been interested in supporting education,” says Winter, former editor-in-chief at Vogue Knitting.
RISD | CE is the only program of its kind that offers a Hand Knitting Design Certificate, Fargnoli explains. “Our students work with professional guidelines to solve problems and create patterns, along with finished pieces. It’s so great when people from the industry take the time to work with them.”
First Christmas, the latest holiday card from Sandy Lounsbury Foose 64 GD, is proving to be a 2013 “Best Seller” at the MoMA Store. The designer and lifelong lover of paper has been designing holiday cards for many years and has had a good run of 3D favorites sold by MoMA.
Several of her crafty how-to books are still available, too, including Paper for All Seasons.
To the esteemed members of the RISD community,
Earlier today the RISD Board of Trustees held a special meeting, at the beginning of which we observed a moment of silence in honor of Nelson Mandela. We also took a moment to reflect upon one of his most powerful statements:
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
With that powerful statement as our focus, we held the first of many discussions to begin planning for our presidential transition. During that discussion, the Board voted to elect Provost Rosanne Somerson as RISD’s interim president, beginning January 1, 2014.
Provost Somerson, who was named provost after an international search in 2012, has deep roots at RISD as a student, professor and academic leader and we are deeply appreciative of her willingness to lead our institution at this time. We have every confidence that she will, in continued partnership with Chief Operating Officer Jean Eddy and the Cabinet, ensure that our institution continues to advance seamlessly.
In its commitment to inclusivity, transparency and open communication, the Board will keep the community apprised as we begin the search for the institution’s 17th president in January.
Yours in art + design,
Alex Wolf 88 SC, who describes herself as an artist and designer who is also a “science nerd and nature geek,” is excited to announce her new nature-inspired learning tool – a board game called Ani-gram-it, which she says is “an addictive, smart, beautifully designed ‘crossword’ style game, using body parts (not letters) to make animals (not words).”
Wolf is still looking for additional funding to bring the game to a wider audience. She welcomes support through Plum Alley, where backers at the $25 level will get the card version of Ani-gram-it and those at the $75 level will receive the full board game (both in time for Christmas).
With a digital version already in the works, Ani-gram-it is part of a joint event between Plum Alley and Tekserve at today’s NYTechMeetup.
Thanks to Steve Brustein, General Manager of The Met and Catering, for sending me this nostalgic pic he took of my selfie-ing with students at orientation week 2013! Our students totally inspire me, and just last week I gave a talk to them on the past, present, and future of digital design. -JM