Adventures at RISD: Open Studios (Part Two)

Armed with my map/sticker sheet as well as Blog buddy, Sarah Campbell ’19, I was ready to continue the RISD Open Studios adventure on Friday which showcased nine different majors. Although we originally went for the art, there were a lot non-art related things that kept us there.

Furniture at Metcalf:

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While not necessarily functional, the furniture at open studios was gravity defying, thought provoking, and really freaking cool. After a solid 10 minutes of art appreciating, we continued to stay for the party in the studio loft, complete with twinkle lights, and a pancake bar. Yes, that’s right, a fully stocked pancake bar with fruit, Nutella, whipped cream, and nuts. Furniture pulled out all the stops to woo people to their department. Also, let’s not forget the sticker. The sticker was a naked human body, but instead of a head, a chair. Odd, yes. But definitely dope.

Sculpture at Metcalf:

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These seniors were shameless in promotion. They rode down the halls of the other studios in Metcalf on a rolling cart decked out in metallic welding suits (and not much else) shouting at everyone to come to their party. And that was no lie. To entice prospective RISD freshmen, Sculpture straight up threw a party, complete with a DJ, two people commissioned to dance on a table permanently, and flashing lights. Your very own Blog ambassadors joined in on the fun, and wished deep down we went there. We also definitively appreciated the rather provocative dancing to “Who Let the Dogs Out” while an actual dog walked through the studio club.

Ceramics at Metcalf:
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While we are plenty sure the art was amazing, to be honest, we don’t remember anything except for the fact that there was kiln pizza. Now, what is kiln pizza? It is exactly what it sounds like. Seniors created pizza (and not just boring old pizza, but fancy pizza with prosciutto and arugula) that was fired in their kiln. To top it off, marshmallows were roasted in a mini-kiln as a quick dessert.   

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What are the Andrews booths really telling us?

Brown’s interior designers seem to have predilection for strange, colorful, modern furniture.  For example, the “why the heck am I sitting in a giant gumdrop” Candy Land-like chairs in the SciLi or the bright orange chairs that most closely resemble a horse hoof in Metcalf make zero sense. Andrews Commons is no exception. I’m talking about that 50-foot booth that extends across Commons, covered in an aggressively neon green fabric that features the most cryptic text. These couches must be telling us something… but what? Here are a few explanations:

1. National Treasure code

"Autor Sammel"

“Aurtor Sammel”

The couches likely conceal some sort of clue that could lead us on a National Treasure-esque adventure. If you look through a mirror upside down, one part of the couch kind of says “Aurtor Sammel,” maybe most likely a member of the American Freemasons. All we need is unflappable amateur cryptologist Nicholas Cage and a 20-gallon vat of lemon juice to reveal the other messages that the booth may be hiding.

2. A psychological test

These booths may be some sort of strange, literary Rorschach test. The 2013-14 Andrews Hall construction project may have really been secretly sponsored by the CLPS Department, to study subjects’ perceptions of manipulated texts. Hidden microphones record the most common words people say when sitting at these booths, studying how people are unconsciously influenced by their surroundings. Some of the most common words and phrases recorded so far in Andrews include “butterfly,” “carnal desire,” “this cookie cake is banging,” and “yo, I’m not going to throw my trash away because I’m an inconsiderate grapefruit.” Weird.

3. CAPTCHA, Inc’s headquarters had too much extra fabric, and donated it to Brown.

I’m sure the makers of CAPTCHAs, those frustrating tests you’re forced to fill out when signing up for an email or a Club Penguin account, decorate their offices appropriately. For their offices, the entire screenplay for the Bee Movie was probably split up into 2-4 word chunks, impossibly distorted, blown up, and printed on wallpaper and fabrics that cover every available surface in the building, testing whether visitors and workers are humans or computers. Every day, a CAPTCHA employee stares at the wall of their cubicle trying to decipher what the test says. “Maybe, I’m really not a human?” they wonder. Hmm.

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