Last week SuckerPunch ran a lovely little piece about an innovative course offered by RISD/CE last summer.
London-based architects Niccolo Casas of The Bartlett and Ludovico Lombardi of LDVC and Zaha-Hadid Architects taught the course, with help from Associate Professor Catherine Andreozzi, head of Apparel Design, and TA Maria Canada 13 AP, who introduced students to basic draping and patternmaking techniques as a means of better understanding the relationship of form to the human body.
Maria Canada 13 AP produced this piece during the summer RISD|CE course called Bodyscapes.
The Nature Lab’s high-end microscopes proved to be an invaluable resource in helping students to better understand natural form and structure. In the end, their body-centric designs were produced in resin using 3D printers.
When Lindsay Degen 10 TX first agreed to design a collection for the upcoming Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show – which airs on Tuesday, December 10 on CBS – she’d never seen the show on TV. But a team from Victoria’s Secret had seen her – consulting at a knitwear factory wearing “a onesie with a yellow loopy knitting technique and an oversized sweater.”
Based on her look and the quality of the knitwear she wore, the VS designers invited her to design for this year’s show – which is expected to be seen by more than 9 million people.
Degen was given two months to deliver a rough draft of her proposed collection and another month to make adjustments to her collection of nine outfits. A week before the taping, she was in New York for the first fitting on live models when Cosmopolitan dropped in for some behind-the-scenes coverage.
"For someone who had previously found design inspiration in bacteria cultures and leg hair,” Cosmo notes, “the opportunity to collaborate with a brand like VS was an unexpected thrill with potentially far-reaching implications for her own label DEGEN.”
Degen is especially happy that some of the techniques she developed in creating this one-off collection of VS – like a bodysuit knit with fishing line – are likely to find their way into her own work.
And despite designing for a mainstream audience, she wasn’t particularly concerned. “People think my style is a little weird, but my whole idea is making it accessible,” she told Cosmopolitan. “I don’t want to be pretentious. I want people to have fun.”
Cyrus Highsmith 97 GD, a senior critic in Graphic Design who’s also a long-time senior designer at Font Bureau, has been posting a great series of sketches, drawings and “random glyphs” to his aptly named Cyrumblr site.
The award-winning creator of such keepers as Antenna, Biscotti, Ibis, Prensa, Quiosco, Receiver and many more typefaces packs a lot in a little with his latest posts.
Sweet little surprises pop up almost every day, like this apple – from another new surprise from Highsmith: Apple Bear Cart, his first children’s book. Not surprisingly, it’s an alphabet book full of cool cats and other great finds – all made to delight his 3-year-old daughter (and presumably perfect for any toddlers on your gift-giving list).
Find more of Highsmith’s work on Occupant, his main site.
As Danny Kim 09 ID and his San Francisco-based company Lit Motors continue to develop the C-1, a viable self-balancing electric motorcyle they’ve been developing for several years, they also just announced a sweet side project – a scooter called kubo.
Kim and co. are running an ambitious Kickstarter campaign to try to raise $300,000 to develop this other clever little electric vehicle, which combines the design allure of “Apple & Vespa with the basic utility of a pick-up truck.”
The cute kubo can buzz along at 45 mph (tops) for a full 50 miles on a single charge. It features little hooks on the floorboard for strapping on cargo and can carry up to 300 lbs. between you and your stuff.
If you’ve got big-time scooter lust and can cough up $10K, you can be one of the first five owners in the world to hit the streets on the thing – as early as next spring. And you even get to choose a custom color as the prototype is being built.
Of course, you can also just support the kubo at the “this is rad” or “I’m naked” levels and settle for a t-shirt instead.
Recent grad Wael Morcos MFA 13 GD is among the “37 boundary-breaking talents” selected by the Art Directors Club for its 2013 class of Young Guns. On November 7 he happily collected his ADC Young Guns Award at a celebratory event in NYC.
The well-deserved honor bodes well for Morcos as he makes his way in the competitive design world. Last winter, while still a student, he represented RISD at the international Design Indaba conference in South Africa. He now lives and works in NYC.
Providence isn’t the only city to reinvigorate its downtown by uncovering a naturally flowing river. The city of Columbus, GA just completed a 10-year, multimillion dollar project to remove a series of Civil War–era dams that once powered Columbus’ booming textiles industry. In the process, a 2.5-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River was returned to its natural state, creating the world’s longest urban whitewater run.
In documenting the controversial project, filmmaker Rhett Turner 98 PH (Red Sky Productions) followed the story from the very start. His comprehensive one-hour film, Chattahoochee Unplugged (narrated by Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame), tells the story of how the decades-old dream of conservationists and kayakers alike was finally realized. It’s actually Turner’s second look at the southeastern river. The Emmy award-winning Chattahoochee: From Water War to Water Vision (2010) focused on the 20-year battle over water rights among the states of Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
Turner’s focus on environmental stewardship also includes work with the International Crane Foundation, and he contributed camera work to An Original DUCKumentary, which aired on the PBS show Nature late last year.
Dean of Architecture + Design Pradeep Sharma co-organized All Over the Place, the 2013 administrators conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. When participants met at RISD from November 14–16, they continued ongoing discussions about the rapidly evolving field of architecture and how architectural education is adapting to meet changing demands.
Since the focus of the organization is on dialogue and cross-pollination of ideas, the opening session eschewed a keynote speaker in favor of a two-pronged approach featuring a discussion of digitally intelligent architecture by Mario Carpo, Vincent Scully Visiting Professor of Architectural History at the Yale School of Architecture, and a behind-the-scenes look at some incredible work taking place in Rwanda under the leadership of young maverick Michael Murphy, the CEO of Boston’s nonprofit MASS Design Group.
At a recent sabbatical presentation, Graphic Design Professor Lucinda Hitchcock spoke about visiting Berlin and observing the details surrounding its memorials as part of her ongoing research into typography, form and narrative. The quiet austerity of the Peter Eisenman–designed Holocaust Memorial (above) made a lasting impression on her, but she was equally taken with some of the more controversial work created by other artists.
Places of Remembrance, for example – a “living memorial” designed by Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock that was installed in the wealthy Bavarian Quarter in 1993 – integrates a series of signs into modern city life that call out the increasingly horrific Nazi laws enacted in Germany in the 1930s and early ’40s. One sign memorializes the day that Jews were ordered to give up their pets. The installation was originally so upsetting to local citizens, Hitchcock explained, that the artists were forced to add a smaller tag to each of the 80 signs indicating that it is part of a memorial. Hitchcock befriended the artists while in Berlin and invited them back to Providence as visiting designers for Graphic Design’s graduate program.
Another powerful installation she experienced first-hand, Stolpersteine (Stumbling Stones) by Gunter Demnig, is a collection of simple, 4-by-4-inch brass markers hammered into the sidewalks in front of the homes of Holocaust victims rounded up by SS troops for deportation. The piece is subtle, Hitchcock said, but each simple, handcrafted marker tells its own terrible story.
And the equally intense Library by Israeli sculptor Micha Ullman remembers the infamous Nazi book burning that took place in Bebelplatz in 1933. An underground room of empty bookshelves is visible from above through a glass plate set into the sidewalk.
“It is the quiet absence of detail – the suggestive white cube of emptiness – that tells the most profound story,” said Hitchcock. Among the courses she teaches is a Graphic Design elective called Setting the Site: Type and Message in the Environment in which students explore the possibilities of developing spatial narratives.