13 June 2008

RISD Works ~ Showcasing the Product's Products!

I had an excellent chat with Beth Garvin this morn about MIT alumni initiatives, but her next move naturally got me thinking about RISD and Providence (and comparing with MIT and Cambridge which I'm inclined to do anyways for the sake of my Understanding MIT class). She noted that in addition to private-reserve "insider" blogs there is also an outward-facing our.risd.edu! So I went surfing. President-Elect John Maeda's opensource administration and grassroots approach to engaging the RISD community is a breath of fresh air in contrast with the blackhole of feedback and top-down style of the current regime at the 'tute. Maeda's blogged already about dozens of RISD experiences and interactions, including a serendipitous connection with a visiting newly admitted student, an emergency call with the campus safety officers, and other very intentional explorations. From this view through the blogoscope many things excite me about RISD, but one tidbit stands out just now, namely RISD Works, an art and design retail gallery featuring works from both students and alums worldwide. How cool!

P.S. John Maeda writes just now glowing support for AS220, a Providence community arts space -- a place unjuried and uncensored -- a forum for exhibits and performances. They call themselves...
...a kind of an anti-institutional institution. We've done our best to present the various facets of the organization without using the word "program" to box in what are simply organized human activities in pursuit of a common mission. AS220 is part Incubator and part Bazaar. We also build new audiences and infrastructure for artists to stimulate the cultural mulch in Rhode Island.

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