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The Art of Critical Making: Rhode Island School of Design on Creative Practice by John Maeda, Mara Hermano, Rosanne Somerson

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Afterword

Mara L. Hermano

I am not a maker. Not in the sense that my colleagues and the young people around me are makers — using their hands as extensions of their minds to construct objects that communicate ideas and engage aesthetic sensibilities. But there are some similarities between my work and theirs. I work together with these makers to determine what RISD has accomplished in the past, to discern where we are now, in our own context as well as those of higher education and the world at large, and to articulate and realize a vision for the future. Because I was trained as an art historian, the most basic and most valuable tool in my kit is observation. I feel privileged to observe students and faculty in process at RISD. I get to look at, smell, and, yes, touch the artwork here. I get to observe objects being made. And just as I get to observe objects in process, I get to see young artists and designers in process too — just as they are making, they are also being made (see fig. 65).

Fig. 65 Jude Landry, “Makers Gonna Make” temporary tattoo

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This book provides a provocative and thoughtful glimpse into a RISD education. The faculty and staff contributors reveal pedagogies developed over time, detailing assignments, prompts, and projects; sharing examples of student, faculty, and alumni work; and surveying pedagogical modes of delivering unique training in art and design. ...

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