Gracie Canaan 13 ID can be considered a hands-on hostess. Shortly before the clock struck 7 pm on Wednesday night, the industrial designer was hammering nails into a dinner table that would seat a party of 10. Less than an hour later, a merry group was seated at her custom creation munching on organic foods and sipping tasty brew. 

The fun affair was the fruit of Dinner for 10, an independent study project Canaan started last fall as a means of exploring “how the art of cooking and entertaining can be integrated into product, furniture, lighting and interior design,” she says.

But the dinner date didn’t come together as quickly as the table. It took Canaan six months to plan the affair after recruiting students to lend helping hands.

For example, Otis Gray 14 SC built a gorgeous bar that was stocked with drinks provided by Bin 312, a wine cellar that recently opened in downtown Providence. Gayle Forman 14 GL hung delicate lights that cast a warm glow over the space. Daisy Hook 14 IA was responsible for tableware coordination.

And Sarah Lammer 13 PR and Emily Jenne 13 PR helped Canaan secure the location for the party on the second floor of 204 Westminster Street (the same building that houses student orgs RISD Exposé and Second Life). Karen Lee 13 TX and Joseph Escobar 13 ID of Monthly Meal helped provide the locally grown organic food. 

“There’s so much potential for collaboration at this school. I wanted to showcase that potential by throwing a social event where people can connect,” Canaan says. “And it’s nice just to sit down with a homemade meal.”

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