Rhode Island School of Design Working
Rhode Island School of Design — better known as RIZ-dee (for the acronym RISD) — has earned an international reputation as the leading college of art and design in the US. Approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the world study at our campus in Providence, RI. RISD offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a choice of 19 studio majors and is known for a studio-based approach to learning — one in which critical thinking informs making works by hand.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs: Apparel Design. Architecture. Ceramics. Film/Animation/Video. Furniture Design. Glass. Graphic Design. Illustration. Industrial Design. Interior Studies. Jewelry + Metalsmithing. Painting. Photography. Printmaking. Sculpture. Textiles. front cover: Welcome to the office—actually known as The Box Office (boxoffice460. com) — the innovative office/studio complex RISD architects Peter Gill Case [MArch 97] and Joe Haskett [MArch 02] designed and built using 32 recycled shipping containers. Since opening in 2010, the building has become the creative home to a dozen studios and small businesses — many run by RISD alumni — on a strip of abandoned property in Providence, RI. P H OTO BY N AT R E A
Making a creative living means doing what you love to do.
“Working with a team that’s committed to making some of the most beautiful and sustainable fabrics in the industry is really rewarding. But the fact that we’re also working to find solutions to global problems—by developing effective mosquito netting to prevent the spread of malaria, for instance—makes coming to work every day truly inspiring.” Mary Murphy
MAE 86 / Art Education
Vice President of Design, Maharam
Deep, immersive learning enables RISD artists to develop strong vision and a point of view uniquely their own.
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Ryan Trecartin video artist D IZ Z Y I N G R I S E
Ryan’s frenetic experimental films explore concepts of identity, narrative, language, consumerism and popular culture in a way never quite seen before. Shot in Miami in collaboration with Lizzie Fitch, the videos in his Any Ever series feature an odd mix of friends, artists, child actors and reality TV performers. When shown in museums, they are presented as a film cycle installed in seven distinct environments — galleries filled with couches, conference tables, gym paraphernalia, bookcases, ladders and other props that appear in the films themselves. “At the risk of oversimplification, [Trecartin’s] art could be said to combine the retinal extravagance of much 1980s art with the political awareness of the ’90s and the inclusiveness and technological savvy of the post-millennium,” noted art critic Roberta Smith in her New York Times review of his 2011 show at MoMA PS1. “This exhibition shreds the false dichotomies and mutually demonizing oppositions that have plagued the art world for decades — between the political and the
aesthetic, the conceptual and the formal, high and low, art and entertainment, outsider and insider, irony and sincerity, gay and straight.” “Ryan has a great love of costume, of letting go and of becoming another — whether that other is a little godlike or a body seeking the androgynous middle,” says RISD Professor Dennis Hlynsky. “At times when I watch his work I imagine myself in a large chat room or engaged in an accelerated channel-switching. . . I see Ryan’s work as a reminder that if we are to join our interconnected world we must jump in and engage without bias.” A natural collaborator, Ryan chose RISD because of its intensely creative community. “I went to RISD intending to major in video,” he says, “but I ended up being friends with all the painting and sculpture kids. I began to realize that the content I was interested in was being talked about more in the art world than in the film world. The way I naturally put together ideas — the way I articulate them — just makes more sense to artists.” Now based in Los Angeles, Ryan is represented by Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York City and after exhibiting in the 2013 Venice Biennale, has had recent shows at galleries and museums in New York, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Berlin, London and Paris. Peter Schjeldahl, the art critic for The New Yorker, may have said it best when he summed up Ryan’s extraordinary early success by proclaiming him “the most consequential artist to have emerged since the 1980s.”
B FA 0 4 F I L M / A N I M AT I O N / V I D E O
Within five years of graduation, Ryan Trecartin had landed a trio of major awards, racking up more than $200,000 in art prizes. And it all started with his RISD senior degree project. After completing a 41-minute film called A Family Finds Entertainment, Ryan posted portions of it online, hoping someone would watch it. When artist Sue de Beer saw the film, she alerted a curator at the New Museum in Manhattan, who immediately offered him an exhibition.
L E H M A N N M AU P I N . C O M
DO HO SUH / FINE ARTIST
Known for her economy of form and function, Deborah [BArch 77] has built her New York firm based on a commitment to community and sustainability. “For me being an architect means creating things of lasting meaning,” she says. “It means being part of a broader discourse about the greater good.” In addition to running her practice, Deborah has taught at Yale since 1987 and in July 2016 will become the first female dean of the Yale School of Architecture. In 2012 she earned the first-ever Berkeley-Rupp Architecture Professorship and Prize — a $100,000 award and teaching appointment at the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.
When Do Ho [BFA 94/Painting] first left Korea to study at RISD, he didn’t initially realize the experience would inspire an ongoing body of work focused on questions of cultural and personal identity. Now, the artist divides his time between New York, London and Seoul, creating profound site-specific installations that are in high demand throughout the world. His work is included in almost every major museum collection, from the Whitney, the Guggenheim and MoMA in New York City to the Tate Modern in London to Artsonje Center in Seoul and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo.
LIZ G O U LE T D U B O I S / D E S I G N E R / I LLU S TR ATO R
S OA I B G R E WA L / S O C I A L E N T R E P R E N E U R
A senior designer for the successful FRED line of home goods, Liz [BFA 89/Illustration] is involved in all aspects of product development for the quirky company — from sketching new concepts to writing the sassy copy that goes with them. She also writes and creates illustrations for children’s books and magazines, and runs a successful design studio in rural Rhode Island with her husband, fellow RISD grad Eric Dubois. In addition, Liz has designed toys for Club Earth and has the pleasure of working with clients ranging from Scholastic and Golden Books to Kimberly-Clark, K-Mart, Paramount Cards and Dream Apparel.
Given that more than a billion people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water, Soaib [BFA 11 / Industrial Design], teamed up with several Brown students to launch WaterWalla. Their mission? To bring clean water to India’s slums. Soaib relocated to India right after graduation to head WaterWalla’s Mumbai office. He’s now a managing partner at a design consultancy in Delhi called BOLD, which is dedicated to helping startups and fostering a design eco-system in his native country capable of making a real impact on people in need.
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DEBOR AH BERKE / ARCHITECT / PROFES SOR
I N S O M N I AC GA M E S . C O M
DAV I D W I E S N E R / P I C T U R E B O O K AU T H O R
JAC I N DA C H E W / A R T D I R E C TO R
“RISD was the place that really called me,” says this Los Angeles native and scholarship recipient. “It was just electric and infectious.” It also prepared Jacinda [BFA 99/Illustration] to move up the ladder at Insomniac Games, where she’s now the art director responsible for overseeing character modelers, concept artists and environment artists who create the company’s blockbuster video games. “The biggest thing they teach you at RISD is how to think,” Jacinda says. “Because I had such a broad and expansive education, I’m able to art direct a really diverse group of creative people.”
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Constantly drawing as a kid, David [BFA 78/Illustration] knew early on that he wanted to be an artist. But it wasn’t until he got to RISD that he figured out he wanted to tell stories solely through images, without words. When his debut effort Free Fall earned a Caldecott Honor award in 1988, it set the stage for his lifelong success in publishing. Of the 10 books Houghton Mifflin has since published, two have won Caldecott Honors and three — Tuesday (1991), The Three Pigs (2001) and Flotsam (2006) — have won Caldecott Medals, making David the second person ever to win the top prize in illustration three times.
K AT I E GA L L AG H E R / FA S H I O N D E S I G N E R
G U S VA N S A N T / F I L M D I R E C TO R
By the time she was a senior at RISD, Katie [BFA 09/Apparel Design] had gained the confidence to follow her own instincts in creating a totally black degree project collection — despite warnings that people prefer color. Now, The New York Times calls her “magnificent,” New York magazine says she’s among Manhattan’s top six designers and R29 pronounces her the “quirky cool darling of the fashion world.” Katie designs clothing for women using a process she picked up at RISD, where art and design often merge: she starts at the easel, painting futuristic worlds and scenes that she later translates into fabulous fashion.
Audacity, wit, honesty and an incredible attention to detail have made Gus [BFA 75/Film/Animation/Video] stand out as a director in Hollywood. At RISD his first encounters with avant-garde filmmakers inspired him to change his major from painting to film. Since then he has carved an interesting niche for himself, crafting both deeply unconventional independent films and mainstream crowd-pleasers. Following his 1985 directorial debut with the independent film Mala Noche, Gus has established himself as one of the most vital directorial voices in the US through films as diverse as My Own Private Idaho (1991), Good Will Hunting (1997), Finding Forrester (2000), Milk (2008) and Promised Land (2012).
Milk Gus Van Sant
Art & Max David Wiesner Sunset Overdrive Jacinda Chew
Calf & Half Liz Goulet Dubois
Tulip Avenue House Deborah Berke
Fallen Star Do Ho Suh
Spring Summer 2016 Katie Gallagher
WaterWalla Soaib Grewal
Michael Maltzan architect
B A R C H 8 5 A R C H I T E C T U R E
S O C I A L V I S I O N A RY
The spaces and experiences Michael Maltzan creates “bring architecture up to speed with the complexities of contemporary life,” as Architectural Digest puts it. The recipient of a 2012 American Academy of Arts & Letters Award, the Los Angeles-based architect designs homes, art centers, public housing complexes and landscapes to stimulate and engage users. His buildings are graceful, minimalist and striking, often employing evocative curves and friendly, labyrinthine approaches to entrances, exits and passageways. Founded in 1995, Michael Maltzan Architecture is an intensely collaborative studio with a strong sense of social responsibility — a value that permeates all of RISD’s programs. Committed to the idea that the poor should benefit from good design as much as the rich, he has embraced commissions like the one for LA’s Inner-City Arts campus as readily as for Michael Ovitz’s Beverly Hills villa. In designing stunning housing for the homeless on LA’s Skid Row, Michael says, “The thing that I was trying to do…was to create a new type of social space. If you could do that for a group of constituents who had pulled themselves away from the community as a whole, the building might start to help them find ways to reintroduce themselves to community living. That’s something that architecture can do.” In another massive public project, Michael is the design architect for the Sixth Street Viaduct in LA, a new bridge and urban park that foresees a multimodal future for the city and will connect the Boyle Heights,
downtown and Arts District communities. Other cultural and educational projects — including a performing arts center at San Francisco State University and MoMA QNS in Long Island City — reinforce his reputation as a social visionary who designs large-scale public spaces that fully resonate with the people who use them. Named one of Architectural Digest’s 100 top talents and a Game Changer by Metropolis, Michael began earning recognition as early as his undergraduate days at RISD, where he received the Architecture department’s top honor: the Henry Adams AIA Scholastic Gold Medal. Since then his firm has been recognized with multiple awards from Progressive Architecture, the American Institute of Architects, the US Green Building Council and the Gold Medal for Urban Excellence from the Rudy Bruner Foundation. Its projects have also been exhibited at major museums worldwide, including the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and Los Angeles MoCA, with selected models and sketches included in MoMA’s permanent collection. “Buildings shouldn’t be anonymous,” Michael insists. Consider the unique forms of Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena, CA, a 45,000-sf multilevel exhibition space, or his intimate design of a Napa Valley residence, aimed at maximizing the beauty of the surrounding landscape. “For me, whether it’s a museum, a single-family house or social housing,” Michael reflects, “my designs are all ways of describing what contemporary life is in a place like Los Angeles — and by extension, in many cities around the world.”
With a RISD education, you can go on to do what you love and make meaningful contributions. M O R E O N L I N E : M M A LT Z A N . C O M
Risk-taking becomes so natural here that graduates leave with the confidence to try just about anything.
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Jazzmen LeeJohnson artist / musician
S T R A D D LI N G T W O W O R LD S
South Africa is the place where she found her first real artists’ community after RISD. It’s the place where she met the musicians she brought together as the group Folk Told ME in 2009, and it’s where she solidified her vision of multimedia hip-hop performance as a means of preserving the far flung cultural strands of the African diaspora. But for nine months of the year, that expansive vision got put on hold as Jazzmen — still very much tethered to her home in New York City — worked to pay the bills. She taught through Urban Arts Partnership, a nonprofit that provides dynamic arts education to city schools. And she took every freelance opportunity that came her way — from animation work for art films to documentaries and most notably, for South African artist William Kentridge’s 2010 production of The Nose at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. “Straddling between two countries has been crazy,” Jazzmen says. “While I was touring with another musical
theater group, we got this amazing opportunity to go to Belgium. And it was like the royal treatment — everything was taken care of, we all had our own hotel rooms.” But because she was already on the other side of the Atlantic, Jazzmen grabbed the opportunity to fly to South Africa directly afterward to record with her band. “We wrote, rehearsed and recorded a five-track EP, then played around Johannesburg and did some appearances on TV shows — all in less than a month.” In 2013 Jazzmen returned to school and has since earned a master’s in Public Humanities at Brown, where she was a Graduate Fellow in the Study of the Public History of Slavery. The program facilitated her ongoing interest in redressing history through music, animation, performance, visual arts and exhibitions. She’s now collaborating with Folk Told ME on Grandma’s Lament/ Sello Sa Nkoko, an audio/visual graphic novel. The longest of her long-shot dreams — building a community art hub in Johannesburg and partnering with the Smithsonian for cross-cultural exchange through music — remain far in the future. “It’s been great working on other people’s projects, and I’ve done a lot in art and education that I’m proud of,” Jazzmen says. “But I feel like it’s really time to put my artist self in front now. With the band, our music is about the whole concept of Sankofa,” she says, invoking a core symbol in Akan language and culture: “Moving forward while being vigilant about the past.”
B FA 0 6 F I L M / A N I M AT I O N / V I D E O
Like a lot of young artists, Jazzmen Lee-Johnson is figuring out how to get what she wants while navigating between two different worlds. Her artist’s heart and musical soul lie in Johannesburg, South Africa, which she came to love after landing a full-year Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study the politics of performance right after graduation — in part thanks to help from the RISD Career Center.
V I C TO - N GA I . C O M
V I C TO N GA I / F R E E L A N C E I L LU S T R ATO R
Working with some of the best directors in Hollywood, Robert [BFA 79/Film/Animation/Video] has earned a behind-the-scenes reputation as the go-to man for nuanced cinematography. In 2012 he earned his third Academy Award — for Hugo, Martin Scorsese’s film adaptation of the Caldecott Medal-winning children’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by RISD alumnus Brian Selznick. Robert’s extraordinary abilities and painterly eye continue to keep him in high demand, regularly working with Quentin Tarantino (most recently on Django Unchained and The Hateful 8), Oliver Stone (with whom he won Oscars for The Aviator and JFK) and Scorsese (Shutter Island, George Harrison: Living in the Material World).
Now freelancing in New York, Victo [BFA 10 / Illustration] grew up in Hong Kong and still splits her time between the two cities. Her energetic editorial illustrations have caught the attention of art directors at The New Yorker, The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Utne Reader, McDonald’s and Adidas Hong Kong, among many other clients. Though Victo speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, English and Japanese, her British kindergarten teachers couldn’t quite handle her real name — Ngai Chuen Ching — so they called her Victoria. That, in turn, baffled her Chinese classmates, who went with Victo instead — a name that in many ways sums up the cross-cultural allure of her multi-awardwinning work.
DAV I D H A N S O N / R O B OT I C I S T
J E S S I CA WA L S H / G R A P H I C D E S I G N E R
At RISD David [BFA 95/Film/Animation/Video] was a student leader, serving as vice president of the governing body and organizing events like Pong, a RISD-Brown art/tech fest. Since then he has pursued his passion for the intersection of art and science by earning a PhD in Interactive Arts & Engineering and tenaciously focusing on “bringing robots to life.” David’s sculpturally remarkable and scientifically advanced bots — including his mass-marketed RoboKinds — are designed as assistive tools for autism therapy, teaching and cognitive and neuroscience research. In a recent TEDx Talk, David presents a robotic Einstein head covered in his trademarked Frubber, a rubber that mimics the movements of flesh. “The goal is to achieve not just sentience, but empathy,” he explains.
In the first five years after graduation, Jessica [BFA 08/Graphic Design] worked at major studios such as Pentagram and Print magazine, while juggling freelance work from AIGA, I.D. magazine, RISD, Technology Review and The New York Times, among others. She has won design awards from the Type Directors Club, the Art Directors Club, the Society of Publication Designers, Print, Graphis and more. Computer Arts magazine dubbed her a Top Rising Star in Design and the Art Directors Club named her a Young Gun in its annual round-up of top talent. To top it off, in 2012 design luminary Stefan Sagmeister invited Jessica to become a partner in his NY-based firm, which is now known as Sagmeister & Walsh.
H A N S O N R O B OT I C S . C O M
S AG M E I S T E R WA L S H . C O M
R O B E R T R I C H A R D S O N / C I N E M ATO G R A P H E R
P O L L AC K A S S O C I AT E S . C O M
O B E YG I A N T. C O M
S H E PA R D FA I R E Y / A R T I S T + D E S I G N E R
When Rachel [BFA 99/Textiles] first came to RISD, she was already head over heels in love with textiles, imagining that she might eventually own a small weaving studio in rural Vermont. But while studying both printed and woven techniques — and with frequent class trips to Manhattan — she suddenly wanted to explore practical applications within the textiles industry instead. Moving to New York right after graduation, Rachel found a job designing printed silk scarves at Echo and the following year, joined the textiles firm POLLACK. By 2012 she had become a vice president and, when founder and fellow RISD graduate Mark Pollack chose to pursue new ventures, she felt well prepared to take over as design director of the company.
For the past 25 years, Shepard [BFA 92/Illustration] has been both critiquing and shaping popular culture through guerrilla art campaigns of global proportions. Now, as a fine artist, designer and entrepreneur, he’s still best known for his ubiquitous 2008 Hope poster of Barack Obama. His image of the president is in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and led to a commission for the cover of TIME magazine. Shepard first grabbed national attention through the Obey Giant street art campaign he started at RISD, which eventually grew to involve millions of stickers, posters and spray-paint stencils in public places throughout North America, Europe and Australia.
MELISSA ARMSTRONG / ARTIST
DAV I D S TA R K / E V E N T D E S I G N E R
DAV I D S TA R K D E S I G N . C O M
R AC H E L D O R I S S / T E X T I L E S E X E C U T I V E
“My studio ends up resembling a mad scientist’s lab,” Melissa [BFA 07/Industrial Design] says, referring to ambitious experiments with making sculpture by growing it — from sugar crystals. “I have always been really interested in the intersection of art and science,” she explains. In 2009 Melissa was awarded a residency at the Vermont Studio Center and the following year she earned an NEA grant to study at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Based in Brooklyn, she’s an active member of the Wayfarers artist collective and balances studio work with a day job as a sculpture conservator. In 2016 Melissa will begin a master’s program in Zoology at the University of British Columbia, continuing her exploration of the intersection of art, design and science.
Though David [BFA 91/Painting] is a fine artist at heart, after graduation he discovered that painting alone in the studio didn’t suit his personality. So he began working as a floral designer to supplement his income and support his studio work. That soon led to event planning and decorating, and before long David had built a thriving business doing what he loves best. Based in Brooklyn, David Stark Design and Production now employs 35 incredibly creative people who design and make everything that goes into over-the-top corporate and private events for clients ranging from Beyoncé to Zac Posen, Target to Tiffany & Co., the Museum of Modern Art to the Metropolitan Opera.
Post-It Note tree for fundraising event David Stark
MoneyHorse Victo Ngai Hope Shepard Fairey
The Joy of Hex Rachel Doriss
Aizone FW12 Jessica Walsh
Hugo Robert Richardson
robotic head David Hanson
Primoris Melissa Armstrong
Chelsea Green + James Minola partners / co-founders, Grain
B FA 0 7 + M I D 0 7 / I N D U S T R I A L D E S I G N
It’s not the first time that a chance meeting at RISD has led to a partnership in both business and life. But for James Minola and Chelsea Green, the alliance seems almost destined: Both grew up in southern California, both had family living on an island in the Puget Sound and both shared the ambition to make a positive impact through design. James and Chelsea now live and work in a 1901 farmhouse on Bainbridge Island — 35 minutes by ferry from Seattle — where they run Grain, the socially conscious product design studio they founded the year after graduating. They also keep five chickens and make their own wine. The daughter of entrepreneurs, Chelsea didn’t plan to follow in her parents’ footsteps. “Not having a regular paycheck kind of frightened me, and I didn’t think I would ever want to do that,” says the designer, who earned a graduate degree at RISD after graduating from Pratt and working for several years.
In 2002, just as she landed an enviable first job at a luxury architecture firm, James was still searching for the right kind of design education. He had left the mechanical engineering program at the University of Washington and was looking for a way to develop his skills as a craftsman. “In terms of choosing an art or design school instead of a more traditional path, I had actually tried the traditional path and discovered it wasn’t the right fit,” James says. “But engineering
school showed me that what I thought I liked about engineering was actually something else.”
When their paths finally crossed at RISD — during a Wintersession course in Guatemala — James and Chelsea soon began thinking about starting a business that reflected their fair-trade, eco-minded values. “They’re so emblematic of the collaboration and exploration that my course Bridging Cultures Through Design was all about,” says Mimi Robinson [BFA 81/Painting], the San Francisco-based designer who led the travel/ study experience. “They’re remarkably talented and have wonderful ideas, but it’s really their stick-to-it-iveness and their ability to adapt that are their hallmark.” An ability to adapt enabled James and Chelsea to build a viable business in the midst of a deep recession. Their very first product — a PVC-free recyclable shower curtain — may not have been the splashiest launch, but it spoke to their ideals, was affordable to make and remains a top seller. More recently, their Bound line of textile-wrapped mirrors has been featured everywhere from Apartment Therapy to Elle Decoration UK and their fair-trade collaborations with Guatemalan artisans caught the eye of a buyer for Anthropologie, one of more than 100 retailers and shops across the country and abroad that now carry their products.
“In Guatemala, we could quickly see how all the things we knew and were learning could be applied to making a positive impact on local craftspeople,” Chelsea explains. “It just lit a fire under us in terms of thinking about new ways to work.”
An emphasis on global issues and sustainability inspires graduates to connect the dots in new and interesting ways.
MORE ONLINE: GRAINDESIGN.COM
“When we finished each set, you could actually stand back and look at it and see that it all blurred that line—as something that was too far-fetched to exist and yet was right there in front of us.” Jonathan Mosca
BFA 07 / Printmaking
set designer, Beasts of the Southern Wild
A strong spirit of entrepreneurship inspires plenty of alumni to start their own businesses.
MORE ONLINE: AIRBNB.COM
Brian Chesky + Joe Gebbia CEO + CPO / co-founders, Airbnb
Since Joe Gebbia 05 ID/GD and Brian Chesky 04 ID teamed up to get their fledgling idea off the ground in 2008, Airbnb has served more than 40 million guests in 190 countries and has “revolutionized the way people think about travel, displaced the hospitality industry’s established players and generated billions in revenue for themselves and their hosts,” as Inc. magazine noted in naming it the 2014 Company of the Year.
But Airbnb didn’t start out as a sure bet. At RISD Joe and Brian were known as go-getters who ran the Balls (basketball) and the Nads (hockey) teams, respectively. After school Joe convinced Brian to quit his job in LA and move to San Francisco in 2007 so the two of them could start a business — just as the economy was on the brink of freefall. As soon as Brian moved in, Joe’s landlord raised his rent by 20%, leaving the two jobless entrepreneurs in a tight spot. Noticing that San Francisco hotels were
sold out due to a major design conference in town, they inflated an airbed in their living room and emailed a few top design blogs to offer their space to out-oftowners. Envisioning that they might actually provide breakfast, too, they came up with the name Airbed & Breakfast — and were pleasantly surprised when they got three bookings.
“We earned enough money to save the apartment,” Joe says. A year later, with $20,000 in credit card debt and no investors willing to help, they hit on another idea: Build on the “breakfast” part of the business with two branded cereals, Obama O’s and Cap’n McCain’s, to sell online during the height of the 2008 presidential election. Thanks to national press coverage, the promotion netted $30,000 — enough to keep Airbnb afloat until another $20,000 in seed funding came through in early 2009. By 2011 investors plowed $112 million into Airbnb, estimating the company to be worth approximately $1.3 billion — a figure that has since grown tenfold. Beyond the many clones it has since inspired — from companies for renting parking spaces to drive-sharing services — Airbnb’s primary influence may be in changing the way venture capitalists think about design. Rather than “an afterthought,” as Joe points out, design is now seen as crucial to startup success.
B FA 0 4 I N D U S T R I A L D E S I G N + B FA 0 5 G R A P H I C D E S I G N / I N D U S T R I A L D E S I G N
S I M P LE I D E A > S O LI D S U C C E S S
It’s an idea most people probably wish they’d had themselves: help people to rent out a room, an apartment, a house to a visitor looking for a comfortable, inexpensive place to stay. Property owners welcome the potential to earn money for space they’re not using; travelers are pleased to have found an interesting place to stay, often for less than the cheapest hotel in town. What’s not to like?
J U L I A R OT H M A N . C O M
MICHAEL RILEY / FILM DESIGNER
In the first few years after graduation, Julia [BFA 02/Illustration] figured out how to combine all of her interests into a satisfying career of her own making, working out of her studio in Brooklyn, NY. She freelances as an illustrator and pattern designer, creating products, designs and branding for clients ranging from Anthropologie to Chronicle Books, The New York Times, Urban Outfitters and Victoria’s Secret. In addition, Julia runs the design studio Also with two RISD friends and based on her lifelong love of books, writes a book blog and works on ongoing book projects of her own, publishing such gems as Nature Anatomy, Hello NY, Drawn In and several others to date.
As creative director of Shine, the Los Angeles design and production studio he founded in 2005, Michael [BFA 91/ Graphic Design] is behind the titles and opening sequences of some of Hollywood’s biggest hits, including The Newsroom, Raising Hope, Modern Family and Fresh Off the Boat, among others. While still at RISD, an internship got him thinking about the real possibilities of mixing design with film. Now, the three-time Emmy nominee is well known for his innovative concepts and captivating elements. And Shine even tends to steal the show: commenting on Kung Fu Panda, the Hollywood Reporter noted: “the film’s single most striking feature is the end credits.”
H A L L I E WA R S H AW / P U B L I S H E R
DA N N Y K I M / I N V E N TO R
L I T M OTO R S . C O M
J U L I A R OT H M A N / I L LU S T R ATO R
“While I was at RISD I didn’t really realize the incredibly wide range of things you could do with the preparation and training I had,” says Hallie [BFA 89/Graphic Design], owner of a small, thriving publishing company in San Francisco. After leaving her job as a textbook designer at Scholastic in the late ’90s, she was determined to control her own creative destiny. So, using the skills and confidence she gained at RISD, she founded Zest Books — “teen reads with a twist.” School librarians now confirm that “kids love everything Zest puts out” — a vote of confidence that prompted Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to enter into a distribution partnership with Hallie in 2011.
After a couple of false starts at liberal arts colleges, Danny [BFA 09/Industrial Design] found his niche at RISD, where he focused on sustainable transportation and had an opportunity to work on an electric bike project with students at the MIT Media Lab. In 2010 his lifelong love of riding and building bikes inspired him to found Lit Motors in San Francisco, dedicated to designing viable alternative transportation options that work for current lifestyles. Unlike traditional motorcycles, the fast, fun C-1 is more like a two-wheel micro-car with non-tipping stability, steel-reinforced doors, seatbelts and an airbag. Other manufacturers are also negotiating to license his balancing technology for use in their own cars and trucks.
KAREN LAMONTE / FINE ARTIST
Balancing a studio practice with her position as senior jewelry designer at FGX International, Tzu-Ju [BFA 00/Jewelry + Metalsmithing] creates work that incorporates artistic traditions from around the world. At FGX she designs products for labels such as No Boundary and Style & Co (sold at Wal-Mart and Macy’s, respectively) and works closely with art directors, clients and overseas vendors. Tzu-Ju draws inspiration from various cultures encountered during her travels — including her RISD year in Rome as part of the European Honors Program. A subsequent Fulbright Fellowship in China further fueled her research into experimental binding techniques and working with unorthodox materials.
An accomplished glass sculptor, Karen [BFA 90/Glass] has been living and working in the Czech Republic since first discovering Prague as a Fulbright Fellow in 1999. She initially started using clothing as a metaphor for identity shortly after learning how to blow, cast and cold work glass at RISD. Karen’s ongoing explorations have led to residencies — at the European Ceramic Work Centre and Corning Museum/Kohler Arts Center, among others — and to an artists exchange through the Japan-United States Friendship Commission. Her full-scale, cast-glass dresses have been exhibited throughout the world and are included in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Australia, Musée des arts decorative and many others.
S E T H M AC FA R L A N E / P R O D U C E R + D I R E C TO R
S U S A N M O N TG O M E RY / L AW Y E R
Add stand-up comedy and phenomenal voicing talents to his TV and movie work and it’s no wonder that Seth [BFA 95 / Film / Animation / Video] works overtime. He still writes, produces, voices and animates most episodes of Family Guy, the animated sitcom that continues to rank #1 with teenage males (based on his RISD senior film project, it made him the highest-paid TV exec ever). But Seth also pursues plenty of other interests, from singing on a Grammy-nominated solo album of American standards to directing and writing the screenplay for live-action feature films such as Ted — about a teddy bear with attitude, voiced by him — and A Million Ways to Die in the West.
After earning two degrees in art education at RISD, as an artist and teacher Susan [BFA 71 / MAE 78] became focused on the analytic processs of making and resolving complexity. This inspired her to earn a law degree at Northeastern University, where she now teaches in the School of Law and the School of Business. As a lawyer at Foley Hoag in Boston, Susan focuses on intellectual property strategies for innovators and makers. She insists that her RISD education was invaluable in teaching her to problem solve and think critically. And based on the relationships she made at RISD — including meeting her husband here — Susan has remained involved with the community and served as a RISD trustee for several years.
F O L E Y H OAG . C O M
S E T H M AC FA R L A N E . N E T
T Z U - J U C H E N / J E W E L RY D E S I G N E R
Stewie Seth MacFarlane
earrings Tzu-Ju Chen
C-1 vehicle Danny Kim
The Newsroom title sequence Michael Riley
pattern design for Windham Fabric Julia Rothman
A recent Zest book Hallie Warshaw
Cast Dress Karen LaMonte
Developing an eye for the extraordinary can lead in interesting directions, with both commercial and fine arts potential.
MORE ONLINE: JILLGREENBERG.COM
Jill Greenberg artist / photographer C U LT U R A L I C O N S
Whether she’s photographing celebrities, children or animals, Jill makes her subjects appear profound and even iconic. Her use of light and color exaggerates the figure while reducing it to its essence, allowing her to capture raw emotion — along with the attention of viewers who are irresistibly drawn to each image.
After graduating with honors in 1989, Jill moved to New York, intent on working as both a fine art and commercial photographer. “I used to pound the pavement and drop my book off at magazines and record companies,” she says. An early break came when TIME hired her for a photo illustration of Jeffrey Dahmer and Sassy asked her to shoot Marlon Wayans. After living for many years in Los Angeles, Jill recently returned to New York with her husband and two children. She continues to bring her inimitable style to both photo and video work for clients such as GQ, HBO, Showtime, Universal Pictures and Wired, among many others. She has shot memorable portraits of almost every celebrity imaginable: Eminem, Cameron Diaz, Venus
Over a decade ago, Jill returned in earnest to fine art photography and regularly exhibits personal work at galleries and museums worldwide. In 2006 she attracted a lot of attention with her political End Times series, a powerful collection of staged portraits of sobbing toddlers that’s finally being released in book form in 2013 by TF Editores and D.A.P. Jill’s work has led to several successful books, including Monkey Portraits, Bear Portraits and her latest, Horses (2012, Rizzoli). “With animals and children, there is an authenticity of emotion, which is amazing,” the photographer notes. But in contrast to her ape and bear portraits, the Horse photographs present “horses as if they were supermodels,” she says. “It’s about figure studies and their physiques as a means of examining reflected gender roles.” Glass Ceiling, one of Jill’s most recent series, brought her full circle — back to the postmodern feminist theory that inspired her RISD senior thesis, The Female Object. “My opinions change all the time regarding what kind of art I want to make, and then I come back to thinking the same things I thought at RISD,” she says. “I love making images that make me feel something — that I find beautiful. I do like other people to like them, but really I’m making them for myself.”
B FA 8 9 P H OTO G R A P H Y
Jill grew up in a suburb of Detroit, constantly drawing, painting and exploring sculpture, film and photography. Before coming to RISD, she’d attended summer art programs — Parsons in Paris and RISD’s own Pre-College program. As an undergrad at RISD, she developed an intellectual approach to art, noting: “I learned the language of talking about art as well as the visual language of images — how to communicate with pictures.”
Williams, Jeff Bridges, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, Jon Stewart, Martha Stewart, Ice Cube, Seth Rogen, Nicki Minaj and on and on.
“By the time I leave the studio at night I often feel deeply connected to my work and I have to tear myself away like a kid from a playground. The process feeds itself somehow, and I get to be a part of it, which is the best and simplest and most tumbling and humbling feeling I know.” Anna Schuleit
BFA 98 / Painting
fine artist and winner of a 2008 MacArthur “genius” grant
RISD will empower you with the creative flexibility to work in... advertising, animation, app design, architecture, art criticism, arts administration, automobile design, book design, branding, cartooning, character design, childrenâ€™s books, cinematography, communications, costume design, curating, documentary filmmaking, editorial illustration, exhibition design, fabrication, fashion, furniture making, gaming, graphic design, graphic novels, healthcare communications, hospitality design, infographics, interactive media, interior design, jewelry design, landscape architecture, lighting design, marketing, metalsmithing, murals, music, package design, painting, performance art, photojournalism, pottery, printmaking, product design, public art, public service, publishing, puppetmaking, robotics, set design, sound design, special effects, studio art, surface design, sustainable design, systems design, tableware, teaching, theater, toy design, tv production, type design, urban planning, user experience design, weaving, web design, woodworking, writing, your heartâ€™s desire.
Career Center Support: RISDâ€™s Career Center is focused on helping students and alumni find enjoyable, meaningful experiences well-suited to individual goals and lifestyles. It offers everything from online tools, to workshops and seminars, to personal portfolio reviews with representatives from top-tier creative organizations. risdcareers.com
RISD’s Career Center offers dynamic workshops, seminars and lectures that help students and alumni make connections and build the skills needed to become creative entrepreneurs. Resources such as the Art of Business Bootcamp, Entrepreneur Mindshare and E’Ship, a student club, provide additional support, and collaborations with Kickstarter and Etsy help students and alumni access online support for creative startups. Finding your path in life takes creativity and persistence, but working one-on-one with RISD’s career advisors and taking advantage of our Career Center programs, you’ll be able to envision the life you want to lead and use the connections you make here to achieve that vision.
ÂŠ 2015 Rhode Island School of Design RISD MEDIA GROUP D E S I G N Micah Barrett [BFA 12/Graphic Design] W R I T I N G/ E D I T I N G Liisa Silander I N I T I A L C O N C E P T D E S I G N Michael Freimuth [BFA 03/Graphic Design] P R I N T I N G Meridian Printing, East Greenwich, RI
Admissions Office Rhode Island School of Design Two College Street Providence, RI 02903â€“2784 PERMIT NO 408
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Published on Feb 5, 2013
(Updated Fall 2015) Making a creative living means doing what you love to do. This publication explores the many ways alumni of Rhode Island...