Museums are extraordinarily diverse in their areas of focus. Some museums, such as the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, is so vast in scope and scale as to be utterly encyclopedic. In contrast,  other museums, like the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, offer a highly choreographed experience and concentrate on a specific person, place, or subjetct. The museum that our studio are working on is definitely the latter one, which narrowly focused on the hot topic Climate Change.

For the recent field trip in New York City, we started from the American Museum of Natural History where we guided by James Polshek.

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As the designer of Rose Center,  James Polshek elaborated his concept of and the design process with proud and excitement, which gave us a deeper understanding about the whole structure.

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Shortly after that, we got the access to the backstage of the museum: exhibition department,  where the designers and editors organized every single theme exhibit. In order to help us visualized our Climate Change subject better, they generously presented their work back to 2008 about the same topic as reference.

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Coming out of the American Museum of Natural History, we rushed into the site for our Climate Change Museum: Pier 57 along Hudson river.

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As a bonus tour, we were invited to RAA ( at the end of the day, looking into the design approach and the whole process for exhibit space.

Thank for the support and help of our teacher Peter Yeadon, outstanding architect James Polshek, the designers in American Museum of Natural History and RAA, as well as the Director Adam Zucker from Youngwoo & Associates.


From Viola Tian






Field Trip for TIFFANY Store in New York city!

Elsa Peretti Studio” that was what everyone called it. It is the world of perfect form and elegant design is what we keep observing and looking at and not just beautiful jewelry. For most of the people it is always the stunning shape and object that they consider as “piece of art”. But, for me it is the design that has logic and story behind is the one that has the most interesting process and attractive looks. Of course, this doesn’t mean that ANYTHING with a nice story is great and perfect, NO! But, I’m just trying to make a point here…


So, on a visit to Tiffany store in NewYork, there was a nice presentation held for us in which we were told a beautiful story about a great designer Elsa Peretti and how she was inspired by modest and everyday-objects from nature and then portrayed them differently, revealing what her eyes and mind perceived. It has always been strikingly amazing to me how great designs are usually inspired from the simplest things that exist around us all the time, or sometimes things that we grow with but never realize how inspiring they are to us..

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So, we were taken on a tour mainly to look at Elsa Peretti’s big collection of design pieces. It was really wonderful looking at the pieces, discussing and asking questions and daydreaming about wearing them and owning them and all that stuff. It was so much fun and appreciative than just looking at them on the website.

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Overall, it was enlightening and motivating, moreover it was exciting. I hope we all get to the point of designing with happiness, enjoyment and gratification, Good luck to everyone on their projects.

Group pic at tiffany

Thanks for the people who inspired us and gave us motivation to keep going and also people who arranged for our visit and nice presentation and tour.

Caterina Tiazzoldi, Elsa Peretti, Frank Arcaro, Raffaella Vartuli, Stefano Palumbo and

Linda Buckley.

From Rana R Maad

lighting tour


When it comes to lighting design, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Light bulb, of course it is the invention of Edison! But how many kind of light bulb are there? What kind of lighting device are used in the architectural space and how does these light device be produced? Let’s go for lighting tour and check out!

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Thanks for the support of Markus Earley and Spectrum Lighting Company in Rhode Island !

For more information about lighting products and projects please check out the link below

Urban Exploration

Abandoned coal mine complex - Chile

Urban exploration is the act of exploring spaces not intended for public use, such as abandoned buildings and city infrastructure. Though dangerous and fundamentally considered by many to be ‘illegal’, it is nonetheless a fascinating and thrilling activity, especially for the adventurous one who appreciates architecture, urban decay, and good old-fashioned exploration. It is also very much related to interior architecture and adaptive reuse, with many spaces no longer being used for their original intent, and having potential for adaptive reuse. Urban explorers encounter all kinds of these amazing and fascinating spaces that normally have no opportunity to be seen. Luckily, for those of us that aren’t dedicated urban explorers, we can enjoy these spaces vicariously through the photos and documentation provided by these brave and daring people.

There are now numerous on-line communities and resources dedicated to urban exploration. One in particular though is called Infiltration. It was started by Ninjalicious, a legendary man within the urban exploration community. He originally began it as a magazine, which now includes an accompanying website and he has even published a book. The website is comprehensive, including exploration documentation, discussion of its theory, and links to other resources. Enjoy!


Weybosset Facade

There’s a new banner on the iconic Providence National Bank facade! What’s going on you ask? Here’s the scoop…

Located just down the street from our CIT building on Weybosset St. in downtown Providence, this facade was supposed to be incorporated into a new building being developed on the site. However, the building was never erected due to the real-estate crash, and so the facade has been idly awaiting its future for six years now. The facade will be made weather-tight, (allowing for incorporation into future development) and the large, supporting steel structures that currently occupy the sidewalk will be relocated to the rear, freeing the sidewalk for repair and pedestrian use once again. Great news!

Source: City of Providence, RI

Read the extended press-release here


If you are around tomorrow night, Thursday March 1st at the CIT, join us for the portfolio night! 6:30pm, 6th Floor.

“This will be a great opportunity to learn from the wisdom of your peers. We want to hear what websites people like to use for theirwork, where people print their physical portfolios and your techniques for applying for internships! You can also ask for feedback from your peers on your portfolio.”


And remember, visit the PORTFOLIO section of this blog to view other online portfolios.

8 Containers / 1 House

Hello Dear Fellow Followers,

Here at RISD we are starting our Spring semester. When I’m not too busy (yet), I like to wander around the web in search for blogs and interesting things to get inspired from. I stumbled upon this project, a house that reused not 1, not 2, but 8 shipping containers. it is quite interesting to think how large the house is, and only relying on the reuse of the inexpensive containers. Of course much work was needed to make the cold metal structure a home. The cuts trough the floor of some of them give double height volumes in the living room.

Also, feel free to explore this great website: Apartment Therapy, a great resource for cool projects for your home, and inspirations.

Adaptive Reuse

Here is an example of a great new adaptive reuse project, in true Canadian spirit: in downtown Toronto, the iconic Maple Leaf Gardens, previously home to the city’s hockey team for 68 years, reopened today after sitting unused for over 10 years. As a designated heritage building with great sentimental value, its transformation was a long and complicated process with many twists and turns. It has now become a flagship location for a national supermarket chain and an athletic facility for the nearby Ryerson University, while retaining elements and tokens of its original use. 

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(Photos- The Toronto Star)

Read the whole article here:–customers-lined-up-as-loblaw-opens-upscale-gardens-store?bn=1

Visiting Guest Lecturer!

Portuguese Architect João Santa-Rita will be giving a lecture at the Chase Center on December 1st! Among many projects, he will unveil the adaptive reuse of the XVI century Palace Casa dos Bicos for the headquarters of Nobel Prize winner José Saramago Foundation, opening in Lisbon in the Spring 2012.

João Santa-Rita graduated in architecture from the School of Fine Arts of Lisbon (1983).  In 1990 he founded the Atelier Santa-Rita Arquitectos in 1990, together with José D. Santa-Rita.

Since 1996 he has lectured and taught in many academic institutions such as Universidade Lusofona; Universidade Moderna Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema in Lisbon; and was a Visiting professor – SCALA – University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Since 1998 he has been teaching as a Visiting Professor at Autonoma University.

João Santa-Rita participated in individual exhibitions such as the Triennale Di Milano (1996), and was selected in the International Competition of Ideas, Citta terzo millenio, to be integrated in the Catalogue of the Biennale Di Venezia 2000.

In 2010 he participated in an Exhibition of architectural drawings, at La Galerie D´Architecture, in Paris (France), which included drawings of Aldo Rossi, Alvaro Siza, CODA, Edouard François, Le Corbusier, and Renzo Piano among others.

Santa-Rita Arquitectos work was awarded in several international competitions such as the Honourable Mention on the International Competition for the Revitalization of the Ulugh Beg Center in Samarkand (former USSR) and the first place in the International Competition for the Urban Plan for Almada Nascente in association with Richard Rogers Partnership and Atkins.

Come check it out!


Hello INTAR followers,

As a big fan of urban decay and adaptive re-use, I would like share some of my favorite inspirations with you, the INTAR community. To begin, the abandoned portions of the NYC subway system are a personal favorite. The system is over 100 years old, originally built by three competing companies, and is the lifeline of the city. Naturally, with that much history, it’s full of beautiful, fascinating abandoned segments.

This website does a very good job of documenting all of the abandoned portions, and provides a very detailed history of the use and lifetime of each individual abandoned segment. It’s fantastic.