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The Art of Critical Making: Rhode Island School of Design on Creative Practice

Book Description

Describes the world's leading approach to art and design taught at Rhode Island School of Design

At Rhode Island School of Design students are immersed in a culture where making questions, ideas, and objects, using and inventing materials, and activating experience all serve to define a form of critical thinking—albeit with one's hands—i.e. "critical making." The Art of Critical Making, by RISD faculty and staff, describes fundamental aspects of RISD's approach to "critical making" and how this can lead to innovation. The process of making taught at RISD is deeply introspective, passionate, and often provocative.

This book illuminates how RISD nurtures the creative process, from brief or prompt to outcome, along with guidance on the critical questions and research that enable making great works of art and design.

  • Explores the conceptual process, idea research, critical questions, and iteration that RISD faculty employ to educate students to generate thoughtful work

  • Authors are from the faculty and staff of the Rhode Island School of Design, which consistently ranks as the number one fine arts and design college in the United States

The Art of Critical Making shows you how context, materials, thought processes, and self-evaluation are applied in this educational environment to prepare creative individuals to produce dynamic, memorable, and meaningful works.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Foreword
  6. Preface
  7. The Art of Critical Making: An Introduction
  8. Groundwork
    1. Lesson #1: Begin by looking at options, which is different from acting at random
    2. Lesson #2: Learn to see by thinking more complexly about visibility
    3. Lesson #3: Use everything that you know and record everything
    4. Lesson #4: Don’t try to get to the end without taking all the steps necessary to get there
    5. Lesson #5: Understand that what you are learning is not the same thing as what is being taught
  9. Text and Context: Outward in All Directions
  10. Conversation: Drawing
  11. Thingking
  12. Object Lessons
  13. Conversation: Materials
    1. Anais Missakian, Professor and Department Head, Textiles
    2. Jocelyne Prince, Assistant Professor, Glass
    3. Eric Anderson, Assistant Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture
    4. Mark Pompelia, Visual + Material Resource Librarian, Fleet Library at RISD
  14. Graphic Design, Storytelling, and the Making of Meaning
  15. The Nature Imperative
    1. Hands-on Learning and Personal Taxonomies
    2. Biological Guides: Inspiration and Innovation
    3. Scientific Methods: Microscopy and Mental Imaging
    4. The Human-Nature Connection and Our Future
  16. Conversation: Critique
    1. Christina Bertoni, Professor, Foundation Studies
    2. Elliott Romano, BFA 2013 Photography
    3. Norm Paris, Assistant Professor, Foundation Studies
    4. Ian Stell, MFA 2012 Furniture Design
    5. Daniel Hewett, Critic, Landscape Architecture
    6. Eva Sutton, Professor, Photography
  17. Acting into the Unknown
    1. 1. Beware generalization
    2. 2. Attention coexists with intention
    3. 3. Guessing is a valid form of logic
    4. 4. Expect uncertainty
    5. 5. Communicate toward joint action
    6. 6. Practice, practice, practice
    7. 7. Don’t be afraid to fail/be afraid to fail
  18. Afterword
  19. Acknowledgments
  20. Contributors
  21. Illustrations
  22. Index