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



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

Rosanne Somerson (Editor), Mara Hermano (Editor), John Maeda (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-1-118-51786-4 September 2013 272 Pages


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.

Foreword J 5
John Maeda

Preface 11
Frank R. Wilson

The Art of Critical Making: An Introduction 19
Rosanne Somerson

Groundwork 32
Leslie Hirst

Text and Context: Outward in All Directions 52
Daniel Cavicchi

Conversation: Drawing 74
Patricia C. Phillips

Thingking 94
John Dunnigan

Object Lessons 116
Sarah Ganz Blythe

Conversation: Materials 138
Kelly Dobson

Graphic Design, Storytelling, and the Making of Meaning 164
Lucinda Hitchcock

The Nature Imperative 190
Neal Overstrom

Conversation: Critique 210
Eva Sutton

Acting into the Unknown 230
Pradeep Sharma

Afterword 245
Mara L. Hermano