Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master in Interior Architecture [Adaptive Reuse]

Department

Interior Architecture

First Advisor

Jonathan Bell

Second Advisor

Heinrich Hermann

Third Advisor

Wolfgang Rudorf

Abstract

Creative collisions play an important role in artistic work. These encounters broaden an artist’s perspective, exposing them to new processes, ideas, disciplines, and collaborators. The exact nature of creative collisions is difficult to pin down, as they flourish in an ever-changing mix of social interaction and creative inspiration in a setting of multidisciplinary work. A little-known example of a serendipitous collision between artists occurred between Gustav Klimt and designer Emilie Floge, whose individual medium and style influenced the others’ work, and together they dominated the Viennese Secession movement. A similar creative relationship developed between Charles and Ray Eames who met at the Cranbrook Acadamy of Art, and RISD’s very own David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth of the Talking Heads, whose shared art school experience gave birth to one of the objectively coolest bands of all times. While you may never see a story of creative collision play out the same way twice, it is possible to influence collisions by design, creating spaces where collisions are more likely to occur, and giving rise to a robust artistic community that engenders creative outputs that challenge assumptions.

The Rhode Island School of Design is an ideal setting for creative collision – the school hosts a community of students and faculty from diverse backgrounds, working across a multitude of disciplines. While the atmosphere is ripe for creative exchange, the topology of the campus gets in the way of serendipitous encounter. The reason for this goes back to the very beginnings of the university. When RISD was founded, it started out with just one building purchased in the middle of Providence. As RISD expanded, it did so in an ad-hoc way, acquiring more nearby buildings to make space for a growing number of students and departments. The resulting campus is sprinkled throughout the city, with no common space for people to congregate and little casual exposure to the work going on between departments, even in neighboring buildings.

Creative collision will be orchestrated via a central transit platform corridor in the heart of the RISD campus, on the Museum Block bordered by North Main Street and Benefit Street. The intervention has three tenets: designing for circulation to bring together a high density of RISD students and staff from different disciplines housed in various buildings on the block, designing a program that facilitate and attracts serendipitous encounters, and designing the space to reveal the creative process and output of the disciplines housed in the Museum Block. It is the goal of this thesis to elevate opportunities of creative collisions on campus, advancing a culture where the free exchange of ideas broadens and refines the work done on campus and beyond.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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