do you think I care?

Last night was the opening reception at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Gelman Gallery for the show entitled “do you think I care.” Curated by Austin Ballard and Yuki Kawae, their hard work and effort resulted in an eclectic collection of pieces as well as media represented. Congratulations Yuki and Austin, it was an amazing turnout!

It is a rhetorical question that not only evokes a sense of power and confidence, but can also leave the speaker in a vulnerable state. It is a question spoken by someone who more than cares, they hope their actions and act of questioning will create a considerable impact. There exist numerous individuals, both past and present, which have dared to speak with such attitude and commitment. Acrobat Phillip Dejon, space explore Elon Musk, activist Rosa Parks, composer Ludwig van Beethoven, and even musician Kanye West has all in some way become an emblem for the root of this question… do you think I care?

This exhibition takes a look at some of the artists currently working in Providence, whom might be asking this very same question to their viewers. Made up of artists across a wide array of disciplines from both RISD and Brown University, each has devoted a part of their practice to creating an environment by which the viewer must confront the works head on.

The works present investigate the precarious and the powerful in an attempt to create a dialogue between these two seemingly dialectical concepts. The question posed by the title is meant to draw connections between possible notions of ego, confidence, and strength along side the precarious, vulnerable and the unstable. This idea can be interpreted in a variety of ways; as an allegory for the condition of a government, the subversive act of a person, or simply how you see an object or image communicating.

Some exist in the form of small protests or subtle forms of transgression, while others are louder, direct, and more confrontational. Issues presented by the artists range from military prowess and expansion, to the construction and destruction of stereotypes, to social and political injustices and the alteration of traditions. The works are as diverse as the artist that are included, but that being said, each work becomes an individual call to action. Whatever the size of medium, each work maintains a strong voice, and more importantly an unapologetic attitude.

Curators: Austin Ballard MFA Sculpture ’12, Yuki Kawae MIA ‘13

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Remington Arms Studio – Bridgeport Connecticut

During the first half of the semester, students from Interior Architecture, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture have teamed up in an interdisciplinary studio to develop park space within the City of Bridgeport, CT. Beginning with various parks within Bridgeport, students developed designs that helped to improve the current conditions within these parks. Issues like corrosion to the water’s edge, and functional pier seating were explored. In tangent with the various sites, different building materials like gravel and wood were investigated to help execute design improvements. Each student then built aone-to-one model, using a specified material, to exhibit his or her park improvement.

After a collective group analysis of Bridgeport and its demographics, the Remington Arms Factory site has become the focus of a master plan that helps to revitalize this large park space. The Remington Arms Factory, in its heyday, was the largest factory on earth, but was demolished at the end of 2011 leaving nothing but obliterated bricks to show its former existence. Students are beginning to develop this park space to help bring the neighborhood back into this 2-mile long site. The landscape, circulation paths, and athletic fields are all being designed in a way that helps revitalize the site. The historical and visual presence of the Remington Arms factory becomes a key feature that students are addressing within their master plans.

Keep updated and learn more about this studio: http://bridgeportstudio.wordpress.com/

Developing a New System of Ornament

Exciting design studio updates!

Last week in Jeffery Katz’s design studio, students were dealing with the development of ornamentation based on images from the interior of an 1861 apartment at 22 Commonwealth Avenue. The analysis of this ornamentation led to the development of a series of drawings that demonstrate how the ornamentation can be abstracted and transformed into a new system. The role these systems plays with respect to light, spatial quality, spatial definition, scale, volume, texture, geometry, order, hierarchy, sequence, and framing were all understood. The result became a logical, well-considered route from the images to a new ornamental system that is culturally and aesthetically relevant.

Present day Reuse

Image

As today’s designers push the boundaries of architectural adaptation, it is important to step back and understand the basic meaning of reuse. The Belgian design collective Rotor, was able to unwrap the shell and exhibit the skeletal structure of these abandoned dockside gravel pits. This bear transformation creates an exhibit space that displays a complete historical narrative as the focus of the buildings new use. 

Explore this project further here: http://www.dezeen.com/2012/10/09/grindbakken-by-rotor/