Look at Art. Get Paid. research project – interview with Maia Chao

Maia Chao (Glass 2017) and Josephine Devanbu (Brown-RISD Duel Degree 2015) collaborated on a research project Look at Art. Get Paid., which involved paying people (who were unlikely to visit a museum) to go to the RISD Museum, look at art, and give their honest feedback about their experience. Some very interesting insights were discovered. Maia Chao (one of the lead researchers) was interviewed about the project by v.1 (RISD’s graduate student publication.).

Click here to read the interview: 


Healthy Behavior Data Challenge

Attention companies, startups, academics, government agencies, and individuals interested in health surveillance. Take note of this new challenge that was just announced at the 2017 Health Datapalooza.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Public Health Agency of Canada announced the launch of The Healthy Behavior Data Challenge, a competition seeking innovative ways to collect precise wellness data from people’s daily activities and to help public health experts make more-informed health policy recommendations. The organizers have particular interest in finding new ways to link data sources and use potential technologies such as wearable devices, social media, and mobile applications. The goal is to find the future strategies that can monitor health and health-related behavior accurately and in real-time, so public health experts and decision makers have the reliable information they need to keep chronic disease under control, prevent injury, and help everyone stay as healthy as they can be.

The challenge has the following two phases: Phase I/Prototype Development: Participants will compete for a $30,000 prize pot, which will be awarded to 6 participants ($5,000 each). 

Phase 2/Prototype Plan: Up to 3 teams with the most-promising concepts will be invited to test their proposed approaches for ongoing public health surveillance and compete for a $70,000 prize pot and CDC recognition.

Please see the official challenge announcement for The Healthy Behavior Data Challenge for full details of the contest requirements—including eligibility rules, how to enter the challenge, and scoring.


Unveiling of Space Suit

On Monday, December 5, 2016, RISD students Kasia Matlak MID 17 and Erica Kim 18 AP/ID, and RISD’s NASA Coordinator Michael Lye – a senior critic in the Industrial Design department, unveiled a space suit they’ve been designing and developing as part of a year long independent research project. HI-SEAS crew member Andrzej Stewart, a “virtual astronaut” was present to try on the space suit and provide helpful feedback on it’s functionality and comfort. For more please see: 


RISD Research: Call for Submissions

RISD Research encourages RISD faculty to apply for the 2017 STAC collaborative research funding ( RISD faculty Scheri Fultineer, and Nature Lab director Neal Overstrom, received $260,000 in funding from STAC in years past for two separate projects. This grant program is in support of STAC’s partnership with the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), in which RISD has been actively involved since 2009.

This year’s funding is approximately $800,000 and individual awards will be up to $100,000 over a twelve-month period. The purpose is to support multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary projects that focus on building research capacity and infrastructure across institutions to advance the competitiveness of RI researchers.

This competitive funding support proposals that address research themes related to Coastal Ecology Assessment, Innovation, and Modeling.

Proposals are sought that can:
1. lead to major new research opportunities that can be supported by federal agencies, corporations and/or foundations;
2. contribute towards current or future economic development of the state through technology development and commercialization and/or;
3. contribute to infrastructure development that significantly advances the competitiveness of scientists in Rhode Island to secure additional funding.

Letters of Intent are due October 24, 2016 and full Proposals are due November 21, 2016.

If you are interested in applying, please contact
Josephine Martell in the Research office to discuss your letter of intent.

Read the full guidelines here:


RISD’s Beth Mosher and her research team wins best Anti-Stigma Award at the Opiod Epidemic Hack-a-Thon

Beth Mosher (Associate Professor, Industrial Design) along with her research team won best “Anti-Stigma Award” at the very first GE/MGH Opioid Epidemic Hack-a-Thon held in Boston, September 9-11, 2016
Their design, Ally, helps distribute Naloxone, a medication which reverses some opioid overdose situations, while also helping to build community and reduce the stigma of addiction.
“The project is about more than just having the medication there if someone goes into an overdose,” Mosher says. “It’s also to help try to counteract the stigma and the shame.”
The team will use the award money to begin test implementation of the design with first responders, health care workers, and families.
For more information please see:


Accepting applications: Tropical Field Studies of Art+Nature in Puerto Rico

Throughout the year, the ART+BIO Collaborative offers Field Studies in Art+Nature, educational travel courses that integrate field biology and art. ART+BIO Collaborative are still accepting applicants for ISLAND LIFE, a tropical field study that will take place August 15-20th.

ISLAND LIFE: Tropical Field Studies of Art+Nature in Puerto Rico 
is a hands-on, immersive, and project-based program that integrates biology and art in the field, at various environments in Puerto Rico. The focus of the program is to learn about Puerto Rico’s diverse wildlife through artmaking and field biology.  We travel to rainforests, dry forests, beach, coastal, coral reef, mangrove, and mountain environments.  The program involves multiple site-specific projects that integrate creativity, art and biology.
Dates: August 15-20, 2016

This program is designed for students, artists, scientists, professionals and anyone interested in nature, art, and biology. Please click on the link for photos and more information, and continue to help spread the word about this summer course to anyone who may be interested.


RISD’s Yugon Kim wins Built Environment Award, Core 77 Design Awards 2016; receives Honorable Mention from Architect Magazine’s 2016 R&D Awards

Yugon Kim, Critic, Interior Architecture, and project team leader for Outside-In, was announced winner for the Built Environment Award, Core 77 Design Awards 2016. Yugon and his IKD partner also received Honorable Mention from Architect Magazine’s 2016 R&D Awards, for their Timber Waste Modular Unit (TwMU). His work on TwMU was previously supported and further developed by a summer bridge grant award through RISD Research in 2015. For more information on the projects and awards please see:

Faculty News

Damian White (HPSS) delivered the keynote lecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design’s doctoral program conference, “Cambridge Talks X | Bound and Unbound: The Sites of Utopia.”

Dalia Linssen (HAVC) and Hannah Carlson (HAVC) have been named RISD Writing Center Faculty Fellows for AY 2016–2017. As the first RISD Writing Center Faculty Fellows, they will develop connections between arts-based research and writing models; humanities-based research and writing models; and art and design practices, and apply her research to creating innovative assignments in  in their fall “History of Apparel” and “History of Illustration” sophomore courses.

Paola Dematté (HAVC) was published in the latest edition of Art Bulletin. Her extended essay entitled “A Confucian Education for Europeans” addresses issues of transculturation and hybridity in 18th century Sino-European artistic exchange. She also presented “From Matteo Ricci to Ferdinand Verbiest” at the international symposium Reimagining the Globe and Cultural Exchange, which took place at the Ricci Institute at the University of San Francisco.

Winifred Lambrecht (HPSS/HAVC) gave an interactive class, via Skype, to film students at Gallaudet University which included a screening of her film The Cuetos: Four Generations of Puppeteers. She will screen her short film, Puppetry and Politics in 1939: The Vagabond Puppeteers, at Esopus Public Library in Port Ewen, NY, on May 18 and then at the Sandywoods Center for the Arts in Tiverton, RI, on June 17.

Suzanne Scanlan (HAVC) presented a paper entitled “Holy Recovery! Reclaiming the Body of Santa Francesca Romana” at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America held in Boston.


Graduate Degree Proposal

The grad degree working groups have completed drafts of their feasibility proposals for the MA in NCSS and the MA in Global Arts and Cultures (formerly an MLA in Liberal Arts). To better prepare for an official proposal at the start of next year, we will hold a meeting for Division faculty who are interested in the graduate degree proposals on May 25 at 1 p.m. in room CB 410; it will be an opportunity to get the latest information and provide feedback.

Brown University and RISD launch CoLAB

Brown University and RISD has announced the launch of CoLAB, a new summer institute designed to bring together graduate and undergraduate student artists in a laboratory environment for the development of new and devised performance. Student enrollment in CoLAB is by appellation. No prior experience in performance is required. Applications will be reviewed as they arrive, but all materials should be submitted prior to May 15. CoLAB runs July 11 to 31, 2016 on the main campus at Brown University.

STAY WOKE Lecture Series: Shanna Merola

Visiting artist and activist Shanna Merola will be giving a talk Thursday May 5th at 6pm in the Old Library. Shanna is a legal observer whose artistic practice utilizes her experiences in Ferguson, Flint, and Detroit, to create constructed photographic compositions. She will be discussing her art and activism.

First Liberal Arts Concentration Showcase

The first Liberal Arts Concentration Showcase took place on April 29. Organized by the Liberal Arts Student Advisory Council, the salon-like event will feature short presentations of work by students from all the Liberal Arts concentrations, as well as the college-wide Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies concentration.


Opportunity: New Lab – applications for resident members

New Lab is excited to announce that they are now accepting applications for resident members in advance of their June 2016 opening.

They are interested in early growth-stage companies, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders who are building the next generation of responsible and scalable hardware-centric enterprises. They welcome applications from those working in Robotics, A.I., Connected Devices, Urban Tech, Life Sciences, Additive Manufacturing, and Aerospace. The first deadline for applications is May 1, 2016.
Apply here:


Invitation to RISD Faculty for participation in an Art+Design+Science panel:


On April 14, RI EPSCoR is organizing a community symposium that will include two panel discussions on collaboration: one on art+design+science collaboration and one on social science+hard science collaboration.

We would like the art+design+science panel to explore questions, obstacles and insights garnered through RISD’s participation in EPSCoR.

We would like members of interdisciplinary collaborative teams to share their experience, and have an open discussion session following that sharing. If you are able to participate we invite you to suggest questions, topics, insights that you would like to share.  In particular, we would be interested to know how your prior participation in EPSCoR has influenced your approach to current collaborations, which we would encourage you to present. Following both collaborative panels we will hold a facilitated session exploring some of the common features of the different modes of collaboration presented by artists, designers, social and hard scientists.

Our hope on the RISD side is that this will provide an important context for our collaborators in the upcoming grant, and that the insights of the other panels may be useful for ongoing collaborations such as Landscape Architecture’s participation in the New Hampshire EPSCoR project.

Here is the agenda we are currently working with:

Art+Design+Science Panel (1 hour)
10 minutes: Introduction and Review of some of the major insights gathered over the past 5 years.
(Introducer could be: Charlie Cannon, Neal Overstrom, Chris Rose)
35 minutes: Individual and/or Team Presentations
15 minutes: Audience Discussion
Social+Hard Science Panel (1 hour)
Facilitated Session (30 minutes)


Feb-March Identify discussion points and choreograph approach.

For more information and to participate, please contact:

Lucia Monge <>


Persona 2016-2017: A call for Submissions

What defines a person? The Brown University Science Center seeks submissions for an exhibition investigating how a variety of disciplines perceive identity and the self. This exhibit will feature projects that use a human-centered approach, exploring how mathematics, the sciences, the arts, and the humanities may generate different solutions to this question. What is your answer?

The exhibition will be shown during the Fall 2016 to Spring 2017 academic year at the Brown University Science Center.

For more information and to make a submission, please go to:



A graphic novel explores differences in approaching health issues

Paul Karasik recently collaborated with two anthropology professors at Brown University on an idea they had for a graphic novel based on their research. He chose two of his strongest RISD students to work on the project, a story about the difference in health issues and medical care in the US and the Middle East. The project is about halfway complete and the book is slated to be published this fall by University of Toronto Press. A videographer is documenting the process. His first short video about the work is posted here.

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