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Creating An Index To Graduate Theses To Support Their Discoverability, Ellen Petraits 2024 Rhode Island School of Design

Creating An Index To Graduate Theses To Support Their Discoverability, Ellen Petraits

Transforming Libraries for Graduate Students

As a Research and Instruction Librarian, one of the most frequent questions I'm asked is how to find past theses on a particular topic or theme. There is an active thesis culture at RISD that goes beyond writing and binding a text. An exhibition is held in the graduate gallery to celebrate a curated selection of theses at the beginning of the academic year. (See Book of Thesis Books) Theses can range in format from an artist book to a loose-leaf portfolio. Many emphasize the visual and are a bridge to the student’s studio work. They may include unusual or …


A Light On Europe. The International And Intermedial Trajectory Of A Medieval Chandelier At The Turn Of The Nineteenth Century, Eveline Deneer 2023 Utrecht University

A Light On Europe. The International And Intermedial Trajectory Of A Medieval Chandelier At The Turn Of The Nineteenth Century, Eveline Deneer

Artl@s Bulletin

This article investigates the shaping of European visual culture by tracing the international and intermedial trajectory of the visual motive of a chandelier from a 15th-century Burgundian manuscript in the decades around 1800. Passing from Brussels, Paris, Lyon, Mannheim, and Vienna to Coburg, and moving from illumination to drawing, archaeological illustration, painting, engraving to the applied arts, its trajectory exemplifies the historical conditions and cultural phenomena that animated the formation of a European visual culture, at a time when historical and national consciousness were developing on the continent.


The People's Food Project, Grace Barrett 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

The People's Food Project, Grace Barrett

Masters Theses

The architectural design of spaces offering food assistance has received little to no attention since food pantries emerged in the 1970s. Non-profit food initiatives are often sited quickly with limited resources, producing inadequate spaces unable to fully support a food insecure community, prioritize the experience of users, and create a sense of belonging. The current spaces limit services to merely food distribution. They do not take advantage of the opportunity to expand socioeconomic capital through the power of shared food experiences: growing, cooking, eating, and learning.

This thesis redefines the traditional food pantry model, responding to explorations in psychological comfort …


The Approach: A Promise Of Warmth Inside, Louis Cohen 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

The Approach: A Promise Of Warmth Inside, Louis Cohen

Masters Theses

Walking up those stairs is always a treat. The tacit knowledge that you are moving towards a hidden gem: a space most don’t know to find. Salt water, wood smoke, and roasted coffee perfume the air. But the best part of all is the intention. This is not a space to go to out of necessity or convenience. This is a space for slow sips and long reprieves.

This thesis explores many themes, but at the heart is the idea of The Approach: how we come to an object is just as important as the actual moment when we meet …


Living In Nature & Design With Nature, yuya zhou 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Living In Nature & Design With Nature, Yuya Zhou

Masters Theses

“Each material has its own personality. What we need to do, as a co-worker, is to understand the material characteristics, negotiate with these materials and find a common space to create a beautiful design along with the materials.”------ Yuya Zhou

From the flexible use of biodegradable materials by the Yanomami people, to the brief introduction of the concept of biodesign, and to the organic combination of biodesign and furniture design, it is clear to see that furniture not only undertakes the functionalities as a product, but also plays an important role in constructing a harmonious environment and improving people’s mental …


Postindustrial Playbook++, Maxwell Fertik 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Postindustrial Playbook++, Maxwell Fertik

Masters Theses

There is no such thing as an undisrupted ecosystem. Every inch of the planet is impacted by industrial development and its chemical legacy has mutated the soil and water. As a response, this thesis is designed to promote abundant over extractive resources and visualize a post-industrial reality. It consists of a series of objects, writing and design research on the relationship of industry and ecosystem.

In many ways it is a playbook++, laying out possible strategies or “plays’’ for making do with what exists around us amid collapse.

Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica)(ي'ڑ*), a plant that grows in the most degraded …


Militure, Bingdong Duan 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Militure, Bingdong Duan

Masters Theses

The aim of this research is to explore how individual soldier equipment can be systematically integrated into everyday life. War, as the epitome of struggle and conflict, stimulates the fundamental human instinct for survival. To achieve this end, various methods involving a wide range of fields such as technology, culture, economy, and politics are utilized. Under the driving force of survival, explorations are conducted in various areas, with individual soldier equipment being notably prominent. Nations spend a substantial amount each year on developing individual soldier equipment, which optimizes functionality to such an extent that it has formed its unique aesthetics …


Sanctuary, Harsha Kejriwal 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Sanctuary, Harsha Kejriwal

Masters Theses

When I first arrived in New England, I was accustomed to thinking of winters as short but pleasant periods. For me, winter was a break from the strong and relentless sunlight of summer in Central India. But the contrast between my childhood winters and the same months in the Northeastern United States was dramatic. Statistically, Providence has an average of five hours of sunlight a day whereas Central India enjoys 9.5 hours during its coldest months. This pronounced change in light piqued my interest. I was struck by the various phenomena created by natural light during these cold months. Sunlight, …


Knot, Just Craft It, Qingxian Xu 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Knot, Just Craft It, Qingxian Xu

Masters Theses

The thesis aims to explore the intersection of traditional crafts and modern design by modernizing traditional Chinese crafts like knitting and knotting. The objective is to preserve the aesthetic, cultural, and utility values embedded in these crafts while creating a series of home-scaled furnishing designs that offer a self-making experience.

By applying traditional crafts to modern daily life, the thesis seeks to give new life to the essence of traditional crafts and create new life experiences that are accessible to more consumers. The focus will be on creating modern designs that incorporate traditional knotting and knitting techniques, while also offering …


A Part Apart, Spenser Atlas 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

A Part Apart, Spenser Atlas

Masters Theses

I am fascinated by connections. Things that click, snap, slide, and hold. I care about the ways in which objects meet, looking for answers in the space between. What binds one thing to another?

I believe the world is presented to us in pieces. It’s hard to say how it all comes together. It's easy to believe things are shapeless and detached from each other. Connection is a bridge, a way of linking one thing to another that reveals interdependence, and eventually moves outwards to express a correlation between pieces, once assumed to be discrete and isolated.

This work is …


The Center For Centering Dome, Olek Piechaczek, Ryan M. Scharf 2023 California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

The Center For Centering Dome, Olek Piechaczek, Ryan M. Scharf

Architectural Engineering

The Center for Centering seeks to create a large-scale healing center, conducive to individual centering of the mind and body. This mobile installation provides a relaxing, enclosed space while still maintaining a connection to the outdoors. The clients liked the idea of having a pop-up installation that could be easily set up as a touring display. With a deadline for installation looming in June 2022, a team of students had five months to design and manufacture the structure.

In winter 2022, the students developed custom geometry to minimize the number of individual parts and built a ¼ scale model of …


Valuation, Tobias Gilbert 2023 Macalester College

Valuation, Tobias Gilbert

Art and Art History Honors Projects

My Studio Art honors project seeks to question the delineation between art, craft, and design and the lack of value placed on most everyday objects. While in our society homes are seen as an investment to be maintained and passed down, almost none of the objects that fill said home receive this level of care leading to mass consumerism of objects made merely to fit a function, not to last or hold their value. Valuation is a set of dining room furniture made of red oak and white ash accompanied by a full set of ceramic dinnerware and napkins. The …


A Wavering Line, Ginger Gordon 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

A Wavering Line, Ginger Gordon

Masters Theses

Someone once told me it only takes a difference of ten degrees in temperature to change the entire course of the day.

I work with objects in collaboration with space, focusing on the intangible meeting point between visibility and invisibility.

Propelled by coincidence and temporal shifts, the transitory, the fragmented, and the found are all welcome, as are the methodologies of the Surrealists and Cubists. Born from a combination of fortuity and planning, curated fragment collages coalesce to represent acts of chance in three dimensions. Balanced forms weave and sway as small portholes direct a view. Form follows chance.


Slow Puzzle, Tzyy Yi Young 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

Slow Puzzle, Tzyy Yi Young

Masters Theses

One may argue that we all observe. It is this finely tuned capacity that allows designers to read context and to identify patterns. Since I was a child, I’ve been a carefully tuned explorer of the world, observing the world around me. Yet as a designer, I take this observational impulse to another level by recording my observations and then translating these impressions into form. What is seen, felt, and gathered is then edited, nuanced, and reformed. This act of translation becomes a slow puzzle as I look for cues, acknowledge every facet, and conceive of forms in such a …


In This Form, Together, Elana Shvalbe 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

In This Form, Together, Elana Shvalbe

Masters Theses

Most of my memories consist of lively dinner parties. Hands moving in every direction when the food is brought out. The piano bench for the kids to sit on, the fold out table necessary to fit everyone around the meal, and always endless stacks of plates. These experiences and traditions were curated by my heritage and have a strong presence in the work I design. I intend to understand and create interlocking relationships of care, where ritual and romance lead the way to form a community; designing and making furniture and objects that reassert hospitality within the home.

Hospitality is …


Notes To Myself, Anna Dawson 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

Notes To Myself, Anna Dawson

Masters Theses

Immersed in the sun’s light, my body feels saturated, during a long day at the beach. When it begins to cool down and the day inverts into night, I watch the sun set on the ocean horizon. Bart Lootsma, the Dutch architectural theorist describes this experience of light as an immersion and inversion. Intangible, yet something to look at and something to submerge in.

This thesis is a personal journey, and an open exploration of the aesthetic and experience of furniture objects in everyday living. It is a collection of thought processes, observations, and speculations. Sometimes it’s just a note …


The Sky Is Falling, Alexis Tingey 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

The Sky Is Falling, Alexis Tingey

Masters Theses

The ceiling would fall apart in my childhood home, it was an old house. Occasionally a piece of ceiling would clomp down on my head. In these moments, I would pause, and close my eyes until an image of some fabulous, beautiful interior came into my mind, and then I would open my eyes and continue. Sometimes to escape a falling ceiling, I would find respite in my first ideal sitting spot, a post on our back fence; I would sit with the sky and think. Looking back, I believe these are the moments where I caught glimpses of the …


Mood Follows Matter, Maxwell Taylor-Milner 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

Mood Follows Matter, Maxwell Taylor-Milner

Masters Theses

Function is an invisible thing - what disappears when an object is used? Ornament has long been considered an obstacle, a roadblock to forgetting. Capitalist logics of speed, efficiency, and distraction militate against a material culture that might require patient observation, against acquiring the skill to make thoughtful objects or the knowledge to read and appreciate them. The result is the impenetrable trash mishmash spectacle of virtual flea markets like Amazon and Alibaba, of trackable yet traceless objects whose visual identity is algorithmically generated - commodity mystification as pure capitalist abstraction.

While I bow to the quixotic nature of yearning …


Just Enough, Amelia Greteman 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

Just Enough, Amelia Greteman

Masters Theses

As a child, I never answered the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” with “a furniture designer.” Even though both of my parents are artists, making things never seemed like a job; it just seemed like something we all loved to do. Some of my best memories are of working in the studio alongside them - painting, smearing, building, and destroying, but always vigilantly coloring within the lines.

This thesis investigates my past and current relationship to making and the urge I have to simplify and reduce. It takes place in the form of furniture …


Miles And Miles And Miles, Shannon Rose Jones 2022 Rhode Island School of Design

Miles And Miles And Miles, Shannon Rose Jones

Masters Theses

miles and miles and miles is a body of work that draws design inspiration from the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, a region unflattened by ice during the last ice age. The works are site specific extrapolations that have been abstracted in order to trigger a process of memory recollection in the viewer. Selections of atmospheric prose, furniture objects, illustrations, and imagery are presented as snapshots of a place in an attempt to memorialize and make tangible ephemeral memories collected by the maker traveling in this vast landscape. Attention is given to the distillation of form in order to contemplate its …


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