In 1994, I was a junior in high school applying to college, and flew from Barcelona, Spain to Providence, RI to visit the Rhode Island School of Design, upon the recommendation of my elder friend Charles, who was then a sophomore at the school.
My wife—a fellow ‘99 alum—has kept a copy of the 1993-1994 Degree Programs Catalogue, which at the time was one of the only windows that outsiders such as ourselves had, to look through and catch a glimpse of RISD. I thought that I would share some of the images from this catalogue, to travel through time and reflect upon my alma mater, a special place of friendship and creativity.
Some things remain the same
Students still love Chris Van Allsburg’s work. Here, Mr Van Allsburg is showing originals from his book Two Bad Ants.
Monsters such as these can still be sighted in town, thanks to Erminio Pinque.
Some things have changed
The RISD Fleet Library is a wonder, but I was also very fond of the former library at College Building 521 (a.k.a. the “Old RISD Library”). Its only drawback: it was so comfortable that one had to fight to stay awake.
Next, a spread introducing prospects to the “Film/Video” department.
Current students (and children of the 80s perhaps even more so) will also surely appreciate these monitors, disk drives and graphics, in the Interior Architecture department.
And finally, a bonus accessory:
I visited RISD for the first time during a cold, snowy winter much like the season we are now experiencing. As Charles led me to an Industrial Design department workroom, I was fascinated by the cryptic, fanciful designs on the walls: a reinterpretation of tools and structures for the Little Prince to happily live on his small planet, firefighter harnesses created with recycled canvas, and many other strange things. I knew I had come to the right place.