The Rhode Island School of Design
The Rhode Island School of Design - Comments and Student Experiences|
I will start with the positives.
RISD produces Thinkers. RISD trains artist to see differently than others, and if you try to learn- you will learn how to produce what you see and feel outside the box.
RISD is very traditional (at least when I was there- graduated 2012 Interior architecture).
Very old school style of teaching, learn from the basic- have a blank canvas, just like your first time holding that crayon when you are 2years old.
Freshman year you are given projects that you never thought about. It really trains you to see different dimension or art in general. 2D, 3D, and art history.
Here you will find out for a fact what your strenghts or weakness are. You will see and meet other artist and future designers and learn from them as well. That I will never forget. All the inspirations and amazing work you are able to produce- they bring it out from you.
My advice is to - not be afraid, and just do. If you have to do a giant charcoal drawing- go all out! get the biggest paper you can draw on and draw everything you got out. Don't be stuck in numbers and limit yourself. that's the only way you can grow.
Foundation year (freshman year) is the most precious and memorable and often hard tiring times of RISD but I will not exchange it for anything else for that experience.
Now to the "Negatives" or more to the REALITY.
I chose my major - Interior Architecture.
I originally went in thinking I will be in illustration but by going through foundation year, I realized I enjoyed 3D classes and the projects better and wintersession class allowed me to take a glimpse of what that major is so I chose it with a heart beat.
Interior archtiecture is far from interior design. IT is very spacial. Many projects are adaptive reuse projects.
I enjoyed every moment of the studios and classes. I didn't mind staying late, living in studio on the weekends and not having a life, because at that time RISD was my life. They talk about RISD bubble, and it's true it exist. I was sucked into this world of art, concepts, beautiful, thoughtful design that had every form with function.
And then senior year came.
Stress. every senior gets stressed out ofcourse, but not as much as this. I basically had to teach myself alot of programs, because RISD did not teach the most basic programs as a interior architecture/designer should know. CAD, Revit, 3D max etc..
We had a MAC, and learned vector works (firms in u.s rarely use this program) AND Cinema 4D (NOONE knows what this program is- no firm uses this).
I applied to alot of places. close to 60 places in 2 month time. Redoing my portfolio trying to do what the "REAL WORLD" thinks is important.
Only 2 place got back to me and I did not get any jobs.
Thankfully I got a job at a design firm through a friend (CONNECTION IS VERY IMPORTANT IN REAL WORLD), and dipped my artistic brain into corporate office design world.
Not as poetic, Not as conceptual, Not as everything I worked for at School. I wasn't even hired for interior design in the beginning, they liked my graphics and wanted me to work for marketing graphic design team for few months.
I went to grad school for sustainable interior design after 1 year of working. and now I work for top 5 interior design/architecture firm- still corporate office field.
I make decent amount of money compared to other colleges. but I still feel empty.
I still crave that sleepless nights those conceptual, artistic moments I worked for.
And I am planning on in few years to leave the "REAL WORLD" of interior design, and pursue more fine art things like sculpture/painting/making furniture etc.
RISD can give you amazing opportunity to bring your "true artist" inside you. but alot of times I think they just opened up a pandora box that didn't need to be open. I wish sometimes I went to a more practical school and learnt more realistic things- then I would have been more aware of what this field is like. But RISD gave you an impression that Poetic, Conceptual thoughts are what defines design. But in reality almost 96% of design doesn't work with those traits only.
how fast you do it, how much cheaper you can do them are the two most important thing when it comes to designing anything in reality.
I am still grateful that I went to risd. And I wouldn't change that. But I wouldn't let my children go there if they wanted to in the far futrure.
People here are all very passionate about art, very arrogant and opinionated and a lil obnoxious. And as with all other art schools, the majority of the students are a little wacky, to b normal here u rlly have to be abnormal. Even the professors are very open, whether it be with their sexuality (my english professor read to our class a book she published on masturbation which apparently is based on personal experiences..humm) etc.
90%+ of the student body are girls, and of the 10%, 5% are gay guys. go to brown if ur looking for a love life.
the entire campus is on a hill, imagine having to carry a toolbox, portfolio, laptop up and down a hill everyday- not so pleasant.
however, despite my personal dissatisfactions with risd, it is a prestigious art school (#1 in ranking), if u survive RISD you could more or less guarantee urself a good job.
So it really just comes down to your priorities and passion for art. Good luck!
However like mentioned by previous reviewers, a lot of this work might seem redundant or like 'busywork'. This is partly because RISD is a heavily 'technical' school, if you are unaware. It is a bit 'outdated' this way- for example in the ID department we focus a lot more on metal and woodworking than any other school and less on the 'design'. But I personally like that, because in my opinion, if you want to go far, strong basic knowledge in your major is exactly the thing we're suppose to be learning in undergrad. Yes you could ask a school to teach you 'creativity', and for freedom to 'try your own projects', but to be bluntly honest at this point do you have enough SKILL to support your creativity (which btw is not something that can be taught).
Be aware though, if you are not someone who have a self-organized system that enables you to glean what needs to be learnt from the mass of information shoved at you, you might verywell be lost. But it's a wonder what you can learn if you step back from the mundane 'work'- it is also this work that enables you to do the stepping back.
I personally was and am very disappointed at the (majority of) staff and resources here. RISD doesn't seem to provide helpful aid in, well any way. But the students here are amazing, brilliant, but most of all motivated people. I learn 90% the time more from peers than the professors.I love RISD. I am an international student and I received quite substantial amounts of scholarship from many other schools, but like a senior student once passed down to me I will pass to you all- if you want to thrive in the long run come to RISD, it might be hard to find normal employment right off the bat because what it has equipped you are the 'things' essential to become leaders, not followers.