Throughout the year hundreds of renowned artists, designers, scholars and others visit RISD to speak and share their work, and many departments host annual lecture series highlighting discipline-specific topics of interest. These events are open to the entire campus community—and often the general public, too.

We also offer prospective students several opportunities to connect with RISD, including on-campus and online information sessions throughout the fall.

Exhibition | Textiles Grad Biennial

January 25,
More dates through February 4, 2020
Sol Koffler Graduate Student Gallery

Please join us for the Textiles department graduate biennial, Crossing Threads, on view in the Sol Koffler Graduate Student Gallery from January 17 throgh February 4. Opening reception Thursday, January 16, 7–9 pm.

Exhibition | {re}position

January 26,
More dates through March 1, 2020
Gelman Student Exhibitions Gallery

A curated exhibition by Namrata Dhore BArch 21, Jisu Yang BArch 21 and Cherry Yang BArch 20.

Exhibition opening | BIG SMALL

January 27,
BEB Gallery

Please join us for BIG SMALL, an exhibition featuring work by fifth-year Architecture students. This is one of five exhibitions featuring fifth-year work, with a new one mounted each week until the end of Wintersession. The show will be open through January 31. Working in the field of architecture involves a variety of scales, from the smallest details of a domestic home to enormous skyscrapers. The tools we use, from digital drawings to physical models, allow us to view and understand the enormous data required. While buildings are scaled down, details are scaled up. As students, we are trained to represent these counterparts and visualize them in their intended scale. Big Small is a collection of works in which the tools are selected with just as much intention as the work they are used to produce. Exhibiting students: Diyi Zhang, Sung Hyun Hong, Zi Ye, Avril Teo, Loretta Quint

Visiting artist | Jordan Seaberry

January 29,
RISD Museum

Join artist/activist Jordan Seaberry 14 PT for a discussion of key takeaways from scholar Michelle Alexander's January 22 MLK keynote. This conversation will be moderated by Matthew Shenoda, associate provost for Social Equity & Inclusion and SEI advisor to the president, to encourage cross-departmental dialogue. Open to RISD community and the public.

Student gathering | Buddhist Practice 101

January 31,
More dates through May 1, 2020
Ewing Multicultural Center

Please join us on Fridays from 4:30-5:15 pm for Buddhist Practice 101, an opportunity to practice, study and encourage one another, ultimately striving for global peace through positive individual change. We also discuss current issues in society such as environmental problems, international/domestic conflicts, social justice, etc. from the standpoint of Buddhism. Feel free to stop by even if you are just interested in hearing about Buddhist philosophy and practice. We practice with Soka Gakkai International USA, a lay practitioners' organization with meetings across the country. The nearest location is the New England Buddhist Center, 303 Boylston Street, Brookline, MA.

Exhibition opening | Architecture(ish)

February 3,
BEB Gallery

Please join us for Architecture(ish), an exhibition featuring work by fifth-year Architecture students. This is one of five exhibitions featuring fifth-year work, with a new one mounted each week until the end of Wintersession. The show will be open through February 6. Acknowledging the challenges around institutionalized discipline and practice of “Architecture,” with a capital A, in contrast with the re-definitions and much-needed expansion of discourse, our work questions the limits, definitions, boundaries and reaches of what is called Architecture—the necessity of a multidisciplinary approach and the need for critical thinking. Architecture(ish) is an attempt to dissolve the heavy boundaries and guidelines around the discipline. This dissension addresses challenges related to limits of the discipline and allows us to look to the edges and overlaps of architecture, to empower the transformation of normativity. Therefore rather than a curation of uniformity, our show is a celebration of differences, of various and diverse ways of critical thinking and making. Exhibiting students: Sophie Chien, Sina Erol, Ece Cetin, Bobby Haoding Zhao, Joyce Kim, Laurence von Lignau

Awards presentation | Student Artists’ Book Contest

February 19,
Fleet Library at RISD
More info

Please join us for the sixth annual Baker + Whitehill Student Artists’ Book Contest awards presentation and exhibition opening on the first floor of the Fleet. Our juror this year is May Babcock. For more information please see:

Workshop | The City as Body Act 2

February 25,
20 Washington Place
More info

Please join Harvard lecturer and Center for Complexity affiliate Arianna Mazzeo for The City as Body Act 2: Design for Collaboration, an exploration of the ways our bodies can become thinking tools. As people who live, work and move through the city of Providence, how can we engage responsibly through action? In this encounter, RISD students will design interventions within the city of Providence. Participants will conduct interviews and consider the question: what is the future of education? Students will create a collaborative map, sharing their stories, reflections and outcomes from this common journey. Mazzeo is an educator, activist and performer working at the intersection of creativity, design and education for civic community engagement. Through action theater and a multidisciplinary creative practice, she activates new pedagogies addressing complex systemic challenges through nontraditional design interventions and interdisciplinary performative practices for community and place through collaboration. Limited enrollment. Email for more information.

Founders Day Events

March 18,
locations on and off campus

Founders Day is a spring tradition honoring the birth of RISD as an institution, incorporated on March 22, 1877. Since its founding, RISD has challenged expectations and pushed the boundaries of creative learning. To honor this resilient spirit, RISD faculty, staff, students and alumni are encouraged to join in the celebration of Founders Day by participating in events and service activities locally, nationally and globally that reflect on those who have contributed to our legacy as well as honor the work and dedication of our community. Community Lunch Wednesday, March 18 The Met, 12–1 pm The community lunch will celebrate RISD’s history and legacy as a leader in the art and design community and honor the role that students, faculty, staff, alumni and others have played in carrying forward the institution’s mission. RSVP for lunch here. Day of Service Wednesday, March 18 Volunteer shifts from 9:30–11:30 am and 1:30–3:30 pm In honor of community-minded founders Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf and the members of the Rhode Island Women’s Centennial Commission, RISD students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in service projects at various nonprofit and community organizations throughout Providence. Transportation will be provided and participants will get a free t-shirt for taking part. RISD students, faculty and staff, please visit here to register. For alumni who would like to organize a day service in their own region, please visit here.

Design symposium | Mass Timber

April 10,
Harvard Graduate School of Design
More info

Mass Timber: Beyond Instrumentality and Technology, a daylong symposium hosted by Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, will explore the ever-evolving use of wood as a building material. From cross-laminated timber blanks to glulam slabs, beams and columns, discussions about mass timber tend to center around sustainability and industry advancements. The aim of this symposium is to move beyond default topics of instrumentality and technology by collecting perspectives from architects, engineers, developers and manufacturers in contemporary design. Among the speakers are RISD Architecture faculty member Aaron Forrest and alums Nader Tehrani BArch 86 and Ben Kaiser BArch 88.

Unbound 2020

April 11,
Fleet Library (Main)
More info

The 4th Unbound will be Saturday, April 11, 2020, 11-5pm at the Fleet Library at RISD. RISD UNBOUND is a day-long event celebrating artists’ books, zines, and experimental printed matter created by the RISD community and local artists, as well as designers, publishers, artists and enthusiasts from across the region. Through exhibits and sales, UNBOUND seeks to inspire conversations around cultural publishing in the Providence community. UNBOUND is free and open to the public! For more information, email: