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The Rhode Island School of Design

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Rest assured -- RISD is hard, particularly foundationQuite BrightDesign Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
Rest assured -- RISD is hard, particularly foundation year. But it is also a time of self-discovery and sleepless nights driven purely by passion and stamina. You will not believe the things you learn in such a brief time.

For freshmen year, studio classes are intense and take up eight hours three days a week. So yeah, definitely not a typical laid-back college experience. But you are with the same group of people for all three studios, so you're not suffering alone. Also, because of the small class size (around 20 or so) people can get pretty intimate about themselves in crits, particularly because the nature of art is self-expression. You learn as much from your peers as from your professors. Speaking of which, there are some profs that will change your life and some that really shouldn't be teaching at all, but that's the case with every school, so don't count that too much. Either way you will have left term with a ton of new skills and perspectives.

RISD also emphasizes the liberal arts, which as far as I know is pretty unique for an art school. Granted, the liberal arts classes here are pretty underwhelming, but you can always cross-register at Brown for various courses even if you're not a dual-degree student. Here, you don't have to sacrifice a typical university experience to study art.

A previous comment said that there's no community here, and that is simply not true. RISD does everything possible to ensure a community: the section system, the interconnected dorms, the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of majors. But whether you choose to take advantage of these things is up to you. Because of the insane workload, it is easy to isolate yourself from people around you, and many do. But even then, most people manage to make friends. There are various extracurricular student groups, and an increasing number of groups shared with Brown, so if you are proactive you can definitely get involved outside the RISD bubble.

Since the curriculum spans all different genres of art, foundation year helps to temper The Great Artistic Ego. Naturally some kids are arrogant about their work, but they usually don't outlast the beatings from half the professors. Not all the kids are friendly -- and there is definitely the perpetually looming presence of hipsters -- but there's enough diversity among people types to find your own niche, even if most of us are white or Asian.So yeah. It's hard work, but totally worth it if art is what you want to do.

more→Jan 22 2010
1st Year Female -- Class 2013
Innovation: A+, Scholastic Success: B
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go to a less prestigous school they willQuite BrightArt & Design Department
go to a less prestigous school they will probably take more interest in their students. Risd is full of snobs and uncaring professors. The Career and alumni services are a joke They tell you to mail out post cards and wait by the phone? useless.

There was one student that got a book deal only because a professor there is an agent and she kissed up to her.

So go to a 4 year liberal art college, pick an art major, and minor in something else for an alternative plan ,so you at least have something to fall back on. good luck.

more→Aug 14 2007
Alumna Female -- Class 2000
Preparedness: F Reputation: F
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Fully devoted modernists need only apply.Quite BrightArchitecture
Fully devoted modernists need only apply. If you wish to question or challenge in any way the fundamental rules of modernism you will be failed out of the program. Design Principles is intended to break down and erase your previous human-instinct senses about good design and re-program you with the doctrine of the Bauhaus, you'll be puzzled and confused as to whats happening during this semester then come wintersession they'll be all finished re-programming you or you'll be looking for a new major.
more→May 20 2006
4th Year Female -- Class 2006
Surrounding City: A-, Collaboration/Competitive: F
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