Academic Commons Program

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2013


Diana Wagner, RISD graduate student in Industrial Design and graduate assistant in the Materials Resource Center (MRC) at the Fleet Library, received an ACP grant to curate an exhibition of materials made by RISD undergraduates. Twenty-five students from multiple departments submitted 148 material samples that were exhibited in May at the MRC. The exhibition, Materials + Process, drew wide interest and is documented in a catalogue (see PDF). Until now, the MRC’s collection of material samples—about 18,000 and growing—have all been drawn from the commercial sector. A jury of three materials experts selected 10 samples from the exhibition to enter the MRC collection, and the MRC plans to continue building the collection of student-made materials. The identification of criteria for considering new materials—ingredients, making process, technical capabilities, aesthetic qualities, innovation, and potential applications—sharing of students’ material innovation, and dialogue generated by this project may inspire both faculty and students to teach and learn from material making and process in new ways.