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Design Revolution

Rhode Island is a place where art and design thinking is revered. Elegance, functionality, originality and simplicity are infused into the lifestyle. The revolution started here.

Relationships Are Deep

Interesting intersections of people and ideas happen naturally. Here, we are leading the movement to use Art + Design as forces to transform the economy of the 21st century just as science and technology did in the last century.

Growing a company can be faster and easier in a connected marketplace like Greater Rhode Island where people, networks and expertise are within reach.

STEM to STEAM is a RISD-led initiative to add Art and Design to the national agenda of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education and research in America. STEM + Art = STEAM. The goal is to foster the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer. The leadership of RISD and other members of the community have been championing the idea that STEM expands into STEAM when art is part of the equation.

RISD offers endless examples of how art and design education teaches the flexible thinking, risk-taking and creative problem solving needed to solve today’s most complex and pressing challenges – from healthcare to urban revitalization to global warming.  

The original bylaws made clear its vision to change the world by applying the principles of Art to requirements of trade and manufacture. Almost immediately, its influence propelled Providence into the stratosphere as a place where ingenuity and mercantilism intersect. The Art of Critical Making, and its pervasiveness, is a distinguishing characteristic of Rhode Island.
From its incorporation on March 22, 1877, Rhode Island School of Design has stood out as a leader in art and design education, attracting extraordinary people from throughout the globe who “thrive in its creative culture.” As one of the first colleges of its kind in the country – founded simultaneously with the RISD Museum of Art – it has always been “something of a maverick.”


* Rhode Island School of Design was rated #1 Design School in the nation.

* Per capita, Rhode Island is home to more industrial design establishments than any other state. In 2011, RI had 8 industrial design firms per 500,000 population compared to national average of 2.5.(According to NEA’s “Valuing the Art of Industrial Design” 2013 study)