Rhode Island School of Design is a fine arts and design college located in Providence, in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It has been ranked among the world's best art and design universities and usually alternates or ties with Yale University as the top art school in the country.Founded in 1877, it is located at the base of College Hill; the RISD campus is contiguous with the Brown University campus. The two institutions share social, academic, and community resources and offer joint courses. Applicants to RISD are required to complete RISD's famous two-drawing "hometest", one of which involves the trademark RISD bicycle drawing. It includes about 350 faculty and curators, and 400 staff members. About 1,880 undergraduates and 370 graduate students enroll from all over the United States and 50 other countries. It offers 16 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate majors. RISD is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design , a consortium of thirty-six leading art schools in the United States. It also maintains over 80,000 works of art in the RISD Museum. Wikipedia.
News Article | April 18, 2017
Welcome to our new interview feature, Roadshow Asks, where we find out how people in the automotive industry snagged their dream careers. We'll interview everyone from designers to race car drivers to get an idea of what their job entails, their education background and the role technology will play in their future. Chris Piscitelli is a Senior Exterior Designer for Jeep. He joined the company in 2013 and worked as lead designer for the new Jeep Compass. He also played a part in bringing us the Jeep concepts at the Easter Jeep Safari for the past three years. Piscitelli has a BFA in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and a second BFA in Transportation Design from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. Piscitelli designed three of the seven concepts Jeep brought to the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab this year. He looked to the past with the 1990's themed Grand One, a Craigslist-bought Grand Cherokee from 1993, complete with a Game Boy, a period-correct cellphone and a little hidden compartment for your post-trail cocktails. The Jeep Safari concept is meant to let families explore nature together, offering an excellent view for all passengers. The Jeep Quicksand is a 392 Hemi-powered hot rod/dune basher that's full of humorous details, if you know where to look. I caught up with Piscitelli at Easter Jeep Safari where Jeep was showing off its latest and greatest. Emme Hall: What was your first car? Chris Piscitelli: A 1965 Dart GT convertible. I grew up around old cars. My dad is a big old car fanatic so I was always wrenching on them. I've had an unhealthy addiction to cars for a long time. My old man and I fixed up the Dart and I still have it. Doesn't run, but I still have it. I will get to it at some point. EH: What was your first automotive job and how did you get it? CP: At the College for Creative Studies we had a senior show and all the companies came down to look at the students' work. GM picked me up in May, 2006 and I spent the next seven years in both interior and exterior advanced studios. Getting a job in car design is super tough. There were about 15 students in my class and only six or seven of us got hired into the industry. I think it was me and maybe three others that went to GM. I worked at GM for almost eight years, before I started working for Jeep. EH: Normally I ask about an average day at work, but getting to design these concepts is really special. What is the process? CP: Well, you have to think on the fly so there are a lot of napkin sketches. You're starting from an existing car, so you always have certain parameters that are set in place. The fun part is seeing how far you can push those parameters. How much can you depart from what is a very recognizable and iconic car and how you can push it into a direction people haven't seen yet. After the sketch and ideas are on paper, it's not like a typical design process where you go into clay. With the concepts, you go right into development. I went right into data, working with math modelers to create a data set for the body. There is also a lot of discussion about wanting to move the axles this much, change the proportions this much, etc. It's a little bit of a mix between sketching and just trying to explain things on the fly. Expressing the design through math modeling is really wild. There isn't a physical property or model you can look at and touch, so you just do the math, look at it in the computer in 3D modeling and hit go and start making parts. This is my third year doing Moab cars and now more than ever we've used the computer to visualize things. Even colors. We tried a bunch of different colors on the Quicksand but once we saw it on the computer in black we knew that was it. Once we have the plans finalized they are sent out to the shops we work with in Detroit and they start building. EH: What is the most tedious thing about your current job? CP: With the concepts there is nothing tedious. It's just racing against the clock. There is no room for tedium where you're building things in a couple months. Managing the time and teams is the toughest part, because everyone needs something and they all needed it yesterday. So it's just being the go-to guy and knowing how to allocate resources. At the beginning there were a few weekends where I saw my wife and kids, but towards the end we were all pulling 18-20 hour days, seven days a week. The shop guys were working to the wee hours of the morning. They would go home, shower and come back. We were living at the shop. It's a mad dash and everyone is at their wits' end but as it starts to come together it all start to be worth it, especially for me when I see my pencil sketch come to life. I get worried that the shop guys have all these hours into it and that they their annoyed they are working so hard, but when they start telling you "Hey, this thing is really badass," that's really validating. EH: How does tech affect the future of your job? CP: As an artist I depend on tech, but to a certain extent I am a little old school in that I do sketch manually. I sketch on the computer as well and that continually evolves. I teach sketching and car design at my alma mater, the College for Creative Studies. The computer is a great tool, but the computer won't fix problems unless you have the base artistic skills. I think tech will only make things better as 3D scanning and printing come along. They really enable creative design. CP: The discussion around autonomy in the sense that people say it will eliminate the need for design. They think that if cars are self-driving, why is there a need to design a car? There will always be a need for design. We have a relationship with cars that is unlike most products out there. I don't see it going away. EH: What is the one project you've always wanted to tackle professionally but have never been able to do? CP: I'm feeling pretty good, honestly. I was the lead designer on the Compass, so that was my first full production car from bumper to bumper. That was huge and exciting, and I get to design some of the concept vehicles for Easter Jeep Safari. I'm a happy guy. EH: If you weren't working in the automotive industry, what would you be doing? CP: I would probably be working in the product world. Like consumer stuff or furniture. It sounds lame when you say, "I want to design blenders!" but I've always been interested in that aspect of design. However, I'm so passionate about cars, about automotive history and automotive art. It would be a tough sell to yank me out of that now.
News Article | April 28, 2017
CreativeLive, the world’s leading creative online education platform, is excited to announce an upcoming course with My Little Pony Illustrator Mary Jane Begin. With an impressive background as an award-winning illustrator and author of children’s picture books, a Rhode Island School of Design graduate and professor in the Illustration Department at RISD, Mary Jane Begin will be visiting CreativeLive on May 4-5. She will be teaching two online courses, available to students free via live streaming. The first course she will be teaching is on ‘Color Fundamentals’, giving students an overview of color principles and how to apply them. The second course will be ‘Illustrating Characters and the Stories They Tell’ leveraging her successful background as a children’s picture book illustrator. "I'm really excited to collaborate with CreativeLive to teach Color Theory and Character Illustration. These foundational courses will be a great addition to their existing curriculum and hopefully will provide Illustrators the direction they need to become successful creatives," stated Mary Jane Begin. Lara McCormick, Head of Design at CreativeLive shared, “This is the ideal situation for our students–having an esteemed illustrator and professor like Mary Jane Begin–coupled with the accessibility of (free) online streaming courses so that students from anywhere can learn these important design principles to grow their knowledge base. There is a level of inclusion here that is really important to us as a company.” Visit CreativeLive to live stream the courses on May 4-5 or purchase the course for anytime access.
News Article | April 17, 2017
Camille’s Restaurant, a culinary landmark on Providence’s historic Federal Hill since 1914, named Cranston native, Michael Pennacchia, as Executive Chef. Chef Michael joined Camille’s during the holiday season as sous-chef and stepped into his new role in mid-January. He is renowned for creating masterful versions of classical Italian dishes that match well with Camille’s fine wine and upscale ambiance. “Michael has assumed leadership of our historic restaurant's culinary team,” said Camille's General Manager George Kilborn. “The impact of his talent and creativity has been immediate and tangible, eliciting high praise from our guests and our staff.” Prior to joining Camille’s, Chef Michael was Chef de Cuisine at Alpine Country Club, where he trained under Master Chef Nino D’Urso. Classically trained at the Rhode Island School of Design in their Super Chef Series under Chef Gary Comella, he spent more than twenty years in the Rhode Island restaurant scene. He credits Chef John Keogh of Culinary Affair in Cranston for introducing him to a career in fine dining by asking him to assume the role of sous chef at nineteen years old. With what is described as “comfort style upscale Italian cuisine,” Chef Michael brings his Sicilian and Neapolitan heritage into his design of the menu. Transitioning from heartier Tuscan dishes in the Winter and Spring, he turns to dishes from the Amalfi Coast in the Summer and towards Naples in the Fall. A resident of Cranston, he has two children with wife, Jennifer. The two shared their first date at Camille’s. “It’s a dream job for someone who grew up cooking Italian with my parents to take the helm of such a classic Italian restaurant,” said Chef Michael. “ To me, I feel like I’ve been handed the keys to a Ferrari, with everything that’s great about it, and my job is to keep driving it forward.”
News Article | May 4, 2017
PORTLAND, OR, May 04, 2017-- Wayne Riggs is a celebrated Marquis Who's Who biographee. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to name Mr. Riggs a Lifetime Achiever. An accomplished listee, Mr. Riggs celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field.Mr. Riggs currently works as an independent artist. One of his works was featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, 11 of his pieces were featured in the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, and 2 pieces were featured in the Tampa Museum of Art. He has enjoyed one-man shows at the Davenport City Gallery and Museum (now The Figge Art Museum), Cornell Fine Arts Museum in Winter Park, CO, F.A.O. (United Nations) in Rome, La Mama Galleria in Spoleto, Italy, the British Embassy in Antigua, and Crocker's Mark Gallery in Raleigh, NC. He also had an exhibition at Artspace in Richmond, VA. He is represented in permanent collections at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, High Museum of Art, The Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Musee d'art Moderne Andre Malraux, Tampa Museum of Art, as well as corporate and private collections.Mr. Riggs holds a BFA in photography from Southern Illinois University, Other positions he held include lecturer at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum and the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, FL, director of photography at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center and Callanwolde Foundation, Inc., in Atlanta, GA, undergraduate teacher of Black & White Photography/Darkroom, and guest critic for the Rhode Island School of Design.Articles and reviews of his work have appeared in Savoir Faire, Artweek, Photo M E T R O, No Limits, Art Papers, Tampa Tribune, The Orlando Sentinel, and Zelo Magazine, to name but a handful. Mr. Riggs received grants from the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He served as a Radioman, Petty Officer, Second Class in the United States Navy from 1968 to 1972.In addition to his status as a Lifetime Achiever, Mr. Riggs has been a featured listee in Who's Who in America.For more information about Wayne Riggs and to view his work, visit http://waynemriggs.com/ About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho.com
News Article | February 28, 2017
MyHome, the Manhattan-based renovation company, recently completed a total apartment renovation at 225 East 36th Street in Manhattan. The project was designed by Senior MyHome Remodeling Consultant, Ben Pitt. The homeowners desired an open concept kitchen with a clean look. This look was achieved with stock lacquer frameless cabinets with built-ins pulls from Hanssem Cabinets. To bring light into the space, the kitchen was outfitted with Xenon under-cabinet lights and recessed lights in the soffit above breakfast bar. To complete the look, the homeowners opted for Caesarstone counters and glass mosaic backsplash from The Tile Store. New stainless appliances and a stylish KWC faucet added visual highlights to the design. For the guest bathroom, warm solid-body porcelain tiles and a cinnamon-stained vanity from Ronbow brought color and brightness to the design. The bathroom included a cast-iron Kohler tub and frameless sliding glass enclosure from Dreamline. Riobel shower fixture and faucet and American Standard accessories finish off the look. To create a unique look in the master bath, the design used an alternating, staggered ceramic white tile from Porcelanosa. This tile adds a more interesting dimensions than simple subway tiles. The look was topped off with silver grout to highlight the pattern. Daltile glass mosaic flooring and accent wall brings a focus element into the space. The client opted for a Robern medicine cabinet with integrated lights to go over a simple pedestal sink with hand-towel bar. Fixtures, like in guest bathroom, are from Riobel and the shower glass is a custom frameless enclosure with swing-out door. MyHome was founded in 2001 by managing partner Yoel Piotraut. The company, which is based in New York City, has a team of consultants, designers and managers. MyHome’s New York City kitchen and bath showroom is located at 353 West 48th Street in Manhattan. Ben Pitt has been working with MyHome since 2003. He previously worked as an industrial designer, designing kitchen products for companies such as KitchenAid and Cuisinart after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design. MyHome offers free in-home design consultations for Manhattan homeowners. This is an opportunity for homeowners to collaborate with a talented team within the comfort of their home. Find out why MyHome is the trusted leader in NYC design and renovations. Book a consultation at http://www.myhomeus.com.
News Article | October 29, 2016
Seema Goel will be speaking at the upcoming University Art Association of Canada Conference this week at UQAM in Montreal. Her talk Data Dexterities is part of the session “Making Knowledge: Craft and the Digital” on Friday October 28th. In Data Dexterities she explores her own art/craft practise highlighting the use of digital technologies as a material to enhance touch, and play, and where the viewer’s awareness of the digital experience is integral to the success of the work. Data Dexterities: The project of shifting the digital experience beyond the binary is well underway. From simple yes/no response, Seema strives now to mimic the multiplicity available in human interaction. How does she, in craft, participate in this shift to engage the nuance and complexity of touch, materiality, and maker-user connection? How is craft language equally explored and accentuated through this effort? This presentation explores the contradictions and connections between touch and craft & digital interfaces through her own craft-based art practise. Bio: Seema Goel is a Canadian artist, writer, and curator. Her current work explores the manipulations and representations of the natural world resulting from human intervention. Using a wide range of media including taxidermy, projection, natural materials, and responsive technologies, she invites the viewer to engage these subjects through humour, touch, and participation. She has exhibited in North America and Europe and her writing has appeared in numerous literary publications, newspaper journals, and on radio and stage. Goel holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, an Associated Arts Diploma from the Ontario College of Art and Design, and a BSc. from McGill. She is also an alumna of the Harvard Summer Writing program, the Banff Centre Writing program, St. Peter’s Abbey, Fort San, and also managed to moonlight in the Brown Creative Writing program while a student at RISD. She is currently the STEAM coordinator and artist-in-residence in the faculty of Science at the University of Manitoba. For more information, please visit http://seemagoel.com/
News Article | February 16, 2017
We’ve heard a lot about STEM toys, which are so hot right now. Their focus is on teaching kids science, technology, engineering, and math so they can eventually become very rich and take care of us when we are old and frail. Just kidding! (Mostly!) FollowGrams is a smart projector currently available to back Kickstarter for $75, self-described as “an app-connected STEM toy that teaches kids how to draw pictures, letters and numbers in a fun hands-on experience.” It’s basically one step above a light box, which lets you trace over artwork, or that Magic Tracer toy that aired on TV infomercials in the ‘90s. (I wanted it so badly but my mom was wary of giving her credit card information over the phone, so that was an unfulfilled dream. Reading the Amazon reviews for it now though, a customer reported that the shoddy toy broke her grandson’s heart and “brought him to tears,” so maybe it wasn’t all that well-made.) The FollowGrams app can also apply filters to photos kids take, and project it onto paper which they can then draw over. It uses Bluetooth to connect to Android, iPhone, and Amazon devices. This is all good and fine, but my big question is, why market a kids’ art projector as a STEM toy? Yes, STEM is a trendy buzzword you can throw in your promotional copy and it’s important, especially for young girls, to feel encouraged to pursue science and math careers — but why try to market a product as something it’s not? Why are we so afraid to let our kids become artists? Despite the fact that I, a comic artist when I am not working at The Verge dot com, am constantly writhing on the ground lamenting “Why didn’t I just become an engineer” every night before a deadline, I still think being an artist is a worthwhile career option that kids should have the opportunity to explore! All this led me to a new discovery, called STEAM. The Rhode Island School of Design has an initiative called STEM to STEAM in which they champion adding art and design to STEM research. I’m into it, but sounds like a lot of pressure for kids to be impossibly well-balanced! Still, emphasis on hitting as many educational disciplines as possible seems less limiting than focusing on just some that we think are better than others.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Husson University announced today that it would be featuring a multimedia art and science gallery installation by Krisanne Baker at the Robert E. White Gallery in Peabody Hall on its Bangor, Maine campus. The opening reception for the exhibition will take place on Thursday, February 9, 2017 from 4 – 5:30 p.m. and will begin with an artist talk by Baker. Prior to the opening, Baker will be spending time in classes where she will share her insights with Husson students as a visiting artist. The gallery installation will be on display until March 31, 2017. “The concept of entropy, or the spiraling process of things falling apart, and the way our culture continues to layer refuse conversely inspires my work toward sustainability in our environment and culture,” said Baker. “By engaging the viewer in an internal dialogue on the results of unsustainable cultural practices, my work explores a theme of regeneration; or how we might reverse entropic situations into those that emphasize renewal or sustainable growth. I like to call this new term ‘regenerentropic.’ The meaning of my multi-media work is not embodied solely by the objects, but by the idea that we need to improve and care for our ecologies. In addition, I want to begin a dialogue and inspire action between the work and the viewing public.” Baker grew up on Cape Cod sailing the waters of New England with her father. Her love for the ocean and our connection to it as the basis of life is evident in the digital video ‘Upstream to Downstream (In Our Bloodstreams).’ She received training as a painter at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1982. This was where she first encountered video production. Baker’s graduate work at the Vermont College of Fine Arts combined her love for the natural environment with her art. Today, she is an ecological art activist. Her multi-media sculptures, drawings, and digital media works are specifically concerned with the sustainability of water quality, availability, and the rights of all creatures on this water planet. Baker has lived and worked on the coast of Maine for over 20 years. “We are honored to have an artist of Krisanne Baker’s caliber exhibiting at the Robert E. White Gallery,” said Kathi J. Smith, an assistant professor at Husson University’s College of Science and Humanities and gallery coordinator. “Her work reminds us of both the power and beauty contained in the natural world, along with our responsibilities as custodians of this planet to protect and ensure the ongoing sustainability of the environment. We aim to introduce students to the places where science and art meet, and to develop conversation across curriculums.” Additional work by Baker can be seen at krisannebaker.com. Artists with connections to Maine who work in every possible medium including watercolors, still lifes, oil paintings, pastels, sculptures, acrylics, photographs and printmaking, are featured at the Robert E. White Gallery. With a new show approximately every 10 weeks, the gallery provides students with a glimpse at how regional artists express themselves, giving them added insight into the place where they've chosen to go to school. The newly developed visiting artist program invites artists into the classroom to engage students in opportunities for experiential learning. The gallery was established in 1992 and named for, and endowed by, Husson alumnus and former Board of Trustee Chair Robert E. White '65. The Robert E. White Gallery is free and open to the public, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or by appointment. It is located in Peabody Hall on the campus of Husson University at 1 College Circle, Bangor, ME. For additional information contact: 207-941-7004 or email RobertEWhiteGallery(AT)husson(DOT)edu. For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells, and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 244.24K | Year: 2015
Simulated virtual prototypes have removed much trial-and-error from the design process in many fields. But to be useful as a virtual prototype, a simulation must reliably predict the relevant characteristics of the thing being designed: strength for a bridge; lift for an aircraft, or appearance for a fabric. Previous advances in rendering have led to a current explosion in the use of rendered images to prototype the appearance of objects, and even to represent them to customers, but only where the materials involved can be represented well. Textiles are currently difficult to represent, due to their intricate construction and subtle reflectance, and because their appearance is inextricably linked to their shape and motion. Although fairly suitable for movies, the state of the art in simulating cloth appearance and deformation is not predictive of real appearance and therefore not usable in a design process, in which realistic but inaccurate results are useless. This project, which represents a collaborative effort between computer scientists at Cornell University and textile designers at the Rhode Island School of Design, aims to create the predictive simulation tools needed to enable virtual prototyping to revolutionize the textile and garment industries in the same way it has already revolutionized so many fields of manufacturing. New models and algorithms created by the Cornell team will be integrated into the Loomit tool for fabric design, which will then be used by the RISD team to produce new textiles that will in turn be shipped back to Cornell where changes in the RISD design process resulting from Loomits enhanced capabilities will be studied. At RISD this involvement will engage many student artists and designers, helping them develop the skills to work with increasingly technological media in their future careers, while at Cornell the project will afford computer science students experience understanding and solving problems faced by artists and designers.
Textiles remain a challenge for appearance simulation because of many unsolved fundamental problems. The state-of-the-art models for realistic cloth rendering and simulation were developed for entertainment applications and do not accurately predict the behavior of real textiles. In this project, the PI team will compare appearance and deformation models to measurements of textiles from CT, imaging, and other modalities, then improve them as needed so that they are capable of fitting real materials. Current methods cannot capture the properties of an existing fabric well enough to predict its appearance under close visual inspection. The PI team will develop new methods for jointly capturing the appearance and mechanical properties of textiles, combining measurement and model tuning to produce predictive working models of textiles and the garments and furnishings made from them. Detailed cloth simulations and renderings are currently impractical for moderately complex objects, such as complete garments. Scalability fundamentally requires multi-scale models that simulate details only when they are actually needed. The PI team will create multi-scale models that enable interactive, predictive visualization during the design process. Since the targeted applications all require accurate prediction, a major focus of the research is on validation, testing both the accuracy of the individual technical pieces and the ultimate usefulness of the new techniques in actual use.
News Article | November 13, 2016
None of the four black American students who sat at the whites-only counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960 were designers. They were protestors, part of a growing movement to bring civil rights to all Americans. By sitting there, unserved for hours, enduring jeers and threats, they planned to change how restaurants treated black people. It was a milestone in civil disobedience, but also, as the critic Ralph Caplan has said, one of the greatest examples of design in the 20th century. “Obviously it wasn’t about the visual characteristics of it; it went well beyond that,” says Sol Sender, who designed the logo for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Thoughtful design, whether it’s a logo, an object, or a well-organized protest, has always had the ability to effect political change. And yet, in days following the election, the power of design felt—at least momentarily— diminished. Graphic design didn’t affect the outcome. Neither did data visualization. Algorithms and experience design didn’t combat the internet echo chamber, they strengthened it. Honest designers have never sold their work as a panacea, but like so many people, they are pondering the role they play going forward. “The outcome of this election has forced me to reconsider who I am working for, how I am working with them, and how it will impact the world,” says Joe Marianek, co-founder of the studio Small Stuff. It might not sound like it, but Marianek’s view is ultimately hopeful. Designers tend to be optimistic. “They see design at the heart of creation and change,” says Rosanne Somerson, president of the Rhode Island School of Design. And the election has acted as a catalyst for many designers to reevaluate how their work can bolster social progress. In a call to action on Design Observer, Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand wrote: “Designers understand this implicitly: we may not be in a position to control change, but we are its most ardent and expressive ambassadors.” It’s a cheerfully realistic assessment of design’s limitations, but while designers may not wield the power of politicians, they can still lead the way. At its broadest definition, design has always been about problem solving. Effective design helps people navigate complex situations, it brings clarity to confusion, it resolves misunderstanding through empathy. “We have the power to create images, stories, and experiences that can give the public and policymakers better ways of understanding the facts and moving collective action towards a preferable future,” says Matt Cottam, co-founder of interaction design studio Tellart. It’s idealistic—sometimes overly so, as designer Jennifer Daniel recently wrote—but design always has been about shaping the future with pragmatic hopefulness. On a practical level, this means designers are translators, making complex data, policy, and even emotions easily understood. “We can use the tools of visual design and its capacity to abstract, open possibilities, inspire, dissect, associate, to reconnect numbers to what they actually stand for: a messy and intricate reality that is really really hard to pin down and to grasp,” says Giorgia Lupi, an information designer and co-founder of Accurat. Visual design also can provide agency. “I think design can express ideas in an exciting way to motivate people,” says Jesse Reed, a Pentagram designer who worked on Hillary Clinton’s logo. “If you’re talking about the future of this country and what graphic design can do to somehow help the situation, I think it’s continuing to express impactful ideas and enable other people to take action in whatever way they feel is best.” Still, it remains far too soon to know how design’s influence will manifest. For now, it’s enough to know that designers are thinking deeply about their role going forward. At the very least, a generation of designers is honing its craft under more divisive, but also more honest, circumstances. That’s a good thing. The election has highlighted an Achilles’ heel of design—that despite the rhetoric around human-centered design, designers too often account for only a portion of the population. Their biggest challenge now is to find an effective way of communicating with those who hold views contrary to their own. In that way, designers are no different than the rest of us. “We all have different ways of contributing to this effort, and ours is through intention, a.k.a. design,” Reed says. Design, at its best, promotes understanding. That’s something the country needs a lot more of right now.