StudentsReview - The Rhode Island School of Design - Life at RISD/RID Copyright 2015 StudentsReview, Ecliptical Technologies, Inc. http://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html Life at RISD/RID - Comments en StudentsReview: Negative Review about RISD/RID for Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etchttp://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html Now that a few years have passed, I can say confidently that I rather regret going to RISD I can clearly remember my first impression of my first class. I entered expecting everyone to be an amazing a... Tue, 19 May 2015 02:50:49 GMT StudentsReview 1232-161670 1232-161670 1232 14 Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc Male Undergraduate Class 2011 3rd Year Negative Now that a few years have passed, I can say confidently that I rather regret going to RISD I can clearly remember my first impression of my first class. I entered expecting everyone to be an amazing artist and that was hardly the case. Rather, what I discovered was a very high concentration of wealthy, entitled students with limited actual ability.

Because RISD frequently tops the list of best art schools, it is an international magnet for the offspring of the immensely wealthy. During my time there the campus celebrities included a few hollywood actors, a Saudi prince, the children of many famous figures in the art world and a member of one of the wealthiest families in Europe (actually, contrary to my general argument, she was a remarkable talent).

After graduation, and especially in today's struggling economy, what becomes very clear is that the well-connected students will be just fine. Four years out, most have found decent jobs with their parent's support. Since in most creative industries unpaid internships are considered entry-level positions, it important to have some external support while filling that role. Lately, there has been some criticism regarding this with many making the argument that working without pay makes living in the metropolitan areas unrealistic. I can say with certainty that for a significant enough subset of the population, that is not the case. In fact, quite the contrary, the leisure class is perfectly able to fill those positions, admittedly few in number, and thus from a supply side there is really no reason to offer a living wage.

As for the education at RISD, I found it rather frustrating. I belonged to the graphic design department and during my time there the curriculum was stubbornly, stupidly print focused. During my sophomore year, in a class led by a tenured instructor from Switzerland, we spent nearly the entire term designing the cookbooks.

Classes are broken up into two general categories: studios and liberal arts. Studios are typically scheduled in 6 hour blocks with two main components critique and work time. Crits can be rather grueling. The workload at RISD is exhausting with a lot of competition between student to outdo each other. It is common for people to arrive with in progress work or with something finished a few minutes before. In cases where people have scheduled several consecutive days of studio classes, there is simply not enough time to come up with well conceived projects so the feedback is generally inane and useless.

The order of a crit is also significant. Because most people get sick of talking after a few hours those who show their work first get much better feedback than those who wait till the end. Paradoxically, everyone is usually afraid to go first.

Having transferred from a University, my opinion is that the liberal arts courses are generally not very demanding. Most instructors understand that they are catering to a student body for whom academia is a secondary concern and that their employment is rather in service of the school's college accreditation. That said, the liberal arts instructors, particularly the adjuncts, are exceptionally bright and class discussions are often very lively. Occasionally, you do come across faculty who take their material seriously and as a student and RISD this can be treacherous. Since all liberal arts courses are electives you might spend all of your time reading Foucault with a large project in your degree program due the next day. Most students are savvy to this. The course on birdwatching (yes, really) always fills up very quickly, is held in a lecture hall, and has a very competitive wait list.

The best classes are usually held during the winter session term which spans a few of the years coldest months. These courses are usually lead by graduate students and so their subject matter is usually current and the pacing is often sympathetic to the realities of being a full time, self supporting student.

I often look back on my experiences and wonder if they were worth the expense and the time I spent there. Having left the east coast after graduation, virtually no one I might has heard of the school and saying that you went to college at a school for design suggests you spent your early twenties dancing in fairy dust and chasing the moonlight. Nor has my degree guaranteed against long stretches of unemployment. For a certain privileged group, it is a fine option and for everyone else, frankly, i feel for you because there are not many good options.
Tue, 19 May 2015 02:50:49 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html
StudentsReview: Advice Review about RISD/RID for Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etchttp://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html Visit several schools, talk to students. RISD isn't perfect, it's not for everyone, but it can be a great school if it is right for you and you are willing to focus and work hard.... Wed, 22 Apr 2015 02:23:30 GMT StudentsReview 1232-159841 1232-159841 1232 14 Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc Female Undergraduate Class 2003 3rd Year Advice Visit several schools, talk to students. RISD isn't perfect, it's not for everyone, but it can be a great school if it is right for you and you are willing to focus and work hard. Wed, 22 Apr 2015 02:23:30 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html StudentsReview: Positive Review about RISD/RID for Industrial Designhttp://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html As this is my personal review on RISD, a little background on 'me'- I am the type that relishes hard work and criticism. It is how I learn. (Comment 1- RISD is not for the softhearted, which it should... Mon, 22 Dec 2014 08:10:34 GMT StudentsReview 1232-155471 1232-155471 1232 67 Industrial Design Female Undergraduate Class 2017 4th Year Positive As this is my personal review on RISD, a little background on 'me'- I am the type that relishes hard work and criticism. It is how I learn. (Comment 1- RISD is not for the softhearted, which it shouldn't if it's going to prepare you to go into the real world in four years).

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.
Mon, 22 Dec 2014 08:10:34 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html
StudentsReview: Neutral Review about RISD/RID for Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etchttp://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html Illustration major here, RISD's most popular and "famous" major. I am an introvert, kind of submissive, quiet, anxious, and very indecisive with huge decisions. I am unstructured, and go with the flow... Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:11:53 GMT StudentsReview 1232-130649 1232-130649 1232 18 Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc Female Undergraduate Class 2013 4th Year Neutral Illustration major here, RISD's most popular and "famous" major. I am an introvert, kind of submissive, quiet, anxious, and very indecisive with huge decisions. I am unstructured, and go with the flow. However I am quick to cling to the rules, and a perfectionist.

I did not really know what specific career I wanted, like most new freshmen.

It's been a year since I graduated with a 4 yr BFA, and I can say it was pretty easy to go on the wrong path due to peer pressure.

Between all the nonstop fatigue and illust+foundation work, I had NO time to think about "who I truly am". But this is the most important part of art college.
It is more important than following rules, or even playing it safe for your future's sake.

But risd's notorious for being extra structured and extra stiff with the intellectual side of art. I knew I was already like that--but turns out, it was my flaw, not my strength.


I deeply love animation, but nervously went into illustration, because that major's claim to fame is that it's "flexible" and "broad". So I thought I could "make it my own" and do tons of animation stuff by myself by picking a variety of essential electives, while staying in illust.

Don't trust that opinion.

For animation specifically, that doesn't work very well, if you're unsure and indecisive like me. Interdisciplinary study was very hard between illust and animation, so you must pick a concrete path and pick it ASAP in your RISD career. Preferably before sophomore year.

Also, true for all majors: Everyone agrees they had to "Bullshit a project idea they didn't want or hated, as long as it could be quickly executed and satisfy the teacher" more often then they wished. This left no freedom to really explore who you are, without fear. Fear of judgement ruled students, especially in Illustration. This adds to the fact that my decision was swayed too easily.

Now, back to animation:

Animation is packed and barely any classes are available for people who "aren't sure what they want to focus on yet." It was a very exclusive major, and the spots for course registration run out very fast. If you go in the major, you'll get what you need, in terms of computer program training and basic principles.

But! The animation facilities are not that great. Other schools specialize much better in animation and are more well equipped.

RISD animation is very, very experimental. They don't force this, but again it is an unsaid "peer pressure". All students tend to make their work on the grandiose, abstract, and deep side. This does not exclude the animation dept. I felt RISD animation looked down upon commercial style (what you see in disney/pixar, cartoon network, and nickelodeon). I can say I personally would have hated it even if I chose animation, because I prefer to make art that is meant for entertainment--unpretentious, accessible, humorous, and fun, yet still meaningful as well.

I was not able to learn this about myself...until I left the fine-artsy, clique-ish, and highly critical atmosphere of RISD (this is not necessarily bad for everyone, but it does create an inescapable mindset and kind of heightens one's nervousness).


Bottom line:

Not the right college for someone who doesn't know EXACTLY what they want for their future right away. Even in freshman foundation, some teachers expected us to confidently state where we wanted to work.

Not good for people with anxiety. Not very forgiving towards nervous or worrisome types.
Remember, perfectionism is different from anxiety. If being perfect makes you feel happy or adventurous, it'll suit you. If it leaves you feeling more nervous than adventurous, seek more freedom in your education.

And if you're hoping and dreaming of a college to improve your self esteem and social skills, this is NOT the one.

Another thing worth noting:
It's hard to travel to buy basic amenities in providence. It rains all the time, windy, clammy, the town is often creepily empty looking, and grocery/dorm essential/appliance shopping is often more than 20-30 mins away on foot. Add in the steep hilly landscape and you'll wish there were just a simple hardware and grocery store were right near you.

This is seriously important, as art projects require you to buy weird supplies youd never imagine.


DO NOT LET THE SCHOOL'S FAME SWAY YOUR DECISION!
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:11:53 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html
StudentsReview: Positive Review about RISD/RID for Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etchttp://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html I'm going to keep this short and sweet. If you absolutely know you want to go here and are extremely passionate about pursuing your art career, go here. It's truly a great school. Every negative r... Tue, 04 Sep 2012 10:43:12 GMT StudentsReview 1232-89266 1232-89266 1232 18 Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc Female Undergraduate Class 2014 3rd Year Positive I'm going to keep this short and sweet. If you absolutely know you want to go here and are extremely passionate about pursuing your art career, go here. It's truly a great school.

Every negative review on here is mainly people who thought art school would be fun, or people who hate one small thing so they decide to bag on everything else. You have to really know you want to go here to like this school.

The surrounding town is great, the people are friendly. Yes, there are weird people, but there are everywhere. The professors will critique you A LOT. Just be prepared for it. Remember, they're there to make you a better artist.

I have had a great experience here. I made great friends, I fell in love, and I have became an even more incredible artist than I was when I first got here. I highly recommend this school.
Tue, 04 Sep 2012 10:43:12 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/RI/RISD_comments.html