Owen Whiting 16 FS wanted answers. After perfecting his drawing, design and spatial dynamics abilities in Foundation Studies, the freshman was struggling to decide whether to declare Architecture or Industrial Design as his major. The pressure was mounting for the West Coast native as first-year students are expected to make the big decision by the end of the week.

Luckily, RISD’s fearless Student Alliance leaders called in reserves to help freshmen torn between potential majors. At an informal gathering held at The Met on Wednesday night, students got the chance to ask upperclassmen about the finer details of their academic life.

“Deciding on a major is a big decision. Some students are a little stressed right now,” explained Student Alliance President Alexander Dale BArch 13. “We wanted to give them a chance to air out questions or concerns they might have before making the leap.” 

Molly Harwood 16 FS found solace in visiting the session. Interested in making products for children, she was keen to learn that industrial designers can enroll in a toy design studio. “I feel so much more reassured now,” she said with a happy sigh.

Whiting also left with some much needed clarity. Initially concerned that he wouldn’t put his interest in craftsmanship and making to good use in Industrial Design, he was reassured by Lizzie Suh 14 ID.

“If you want to make things in metal shop, this is the major for you,” advised Suh. “You get to see the things you draft on the page materialize before your eyes.”

Whiting liked what he heard.

"Sounds like a good fit to me,” he responded. “Industrial design it is.”

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