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2011–12 Fulbright Winners Explore Global Culture
For the second year in a row, RISD has been named a top performer by the US State Department's Fulbright Program, the country's most competitive and prestigious merit-based awards for study abroad. Four recent graduates won Fulbrights for 2011-12, putting RISD first among the specialized institutions producing the most Fulbright scholars.
With 23 Fulbright winners in the past five years, and more than 58 RISD Fulbright winners since 1994, RISD has established a strong record of producing highly qualified candidates selected for their academic merit and leadership potential, topping a list of schools that includes the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Cleveland Institute of Music and Juilliard, among others, according to an article in the October 24 online edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.
This fall recent graduates in Architecture, Furniture Design and
Jewelry+Metalsmithing are continuing the tradition by embarking on a year of research to explore the
role and impact of various aspects of art and design in today’s world.
Reed Duecy-Gibbs MArch 11 is studying the role of
historic architecture and adaptive reuse in the rapidly expanding and highly
cosmopolitan city of Istanbul. During his year in Turkey, his research will
focus on the decommissioning of two 19th-century train stations that
have been mired in conflict for a decade as the government and developers push
for preservation versus development. One of the stations, the Sirkeci Terminal,
was once the terminus of the Orient Express.
issue of preservation and reuse in growing cities will become increasingly
important in the 21st century, and will certainly play a role in urban quality
of life and civic vitality,” Duecy-Gibbs wrote in a personal statement for his
Fulbright grant. “I hope to participate in this discussion.”
Architecture alumnus Athanasiou Geolas BArch
11 is studying in the same region, exploring the architectural
manifestations of culture and community that unify Greek cities, and looking at
the similarities and differences in how urban and rural communities articulate
space. Winning the Fulbright was the second honor for Geolas this year: when
he graduated in June, he also earned the American Institute of Architects Henry Adams Medal, which recognizes the
potential of top-ranking seniors graduating from architecture programs around
Michael (Misha) Kahn 11 FD, who participated in the
Furniture Design department’s exhibition at the 2011 International Contemporary Furniture Fair and won first place in the 2010 Design Sponge Student Scholarship
competition, is studying in Israel this year. He intends to create and exhibit
a small body of work that explores ideas of conceptual duality and synthesis
and their relationship to Israeli culture, history and politics. A cross
between fine art, utilitarian design and playful commentary, Kahn’s furniture –
and his Choose Your Own Adventure cabinet in particular – attracted a lot of attention in the
design world last year.
also left his mark locally after teaming up with fellow Fulbright recipient
to co-found RISD Exposé, a student-run pop-up
gallery and gift shop in downtown Providence.
Riggsrecently arrived in Rome, one of the
most historically significant cities in the evolution of jewelry, where she
will explore how traditional jewelry
making practices meet contemporary art culture. Rome wasn’t the only European destination for Riggs
this fall: she flew to Berlin after winning a fellowship to attend Hello Etsy, an international summit
on small business and sustainability organized by online marketplace Etsy.
Fulbright Program, founded in 1946, was established to foster dialogue and
mutual understanding between the US and other countries through the exchange of
scholars. It provides grants to students, teachers, scientists, artists and
other professionals, with US citizens traveling abroad to study and foreign
scholars coming to the US. The State Department, which sponsors the Fulbright,
has begun retooling the fellowship program
to better connect researchers and innovators around the world with an eye to
developing creative solutions to global problems.
tags: adaptive reuse
Top Producers of U.S. Fulbright Students by Type of Institution, 2011-12 (Chronicle of Higher Education)
Fulbright Cites RISD as a Top Producer of Scholars
RISD Fulbright winners (pdf)
, Furniture Design
, Jewelry + Metalsmithing
, public engagement