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National Design Leader Bill Moggridge to Deliver Keynote at 2011 RISD Commencement
Moggridge will receive honorary degree, along with philosopher and specialist in aesthetics Arnold Berleant and public artist Mierle Ukeles
PROVIDENCE, RI – On Saturday, June 4 at 1:30PM, 181 graduate and 482 undergraduate students from Rhode Island School of Design [RISD] will receive their diplomas during RISD’s 2011 Commencement celebration. For the first year in recent history, the ceremony will take place at the Rhode Island Convention Center in downtown Providence, adjacent to the space that houses the annual RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition.
Commencement is a vibrant celebration that culminates the RISD experience. Graduates typically take the opportunity to transform their caps and gowns in idiosyncratic ways – by painting, shredding, reimagining and embellishing them to make a more personal artistic statement or simply to have fun with this colorful RISD tradition. Other students choose to forego wearing caps or gowns altogether.
At the ceremony, RISD will confer honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees on individuals who have made significant contributions to the worlds of art, design and education. This year three guests will participate in the ceremony and accept honorary degrees: national design leader Bill Moggridge, who will also deliver the keynote address; philosopher and specialist in aesthetics Arnold Berleant and public artist Mierle Ukeles.
This year, to honor her relentless drive to spark social change through the complex systems of games, the RISD Alumni Council has selected Katie Salen MFA ‘92 GD as the recipient of the Alumni Association’s 2011 Art and Education Award, which recognizes excellence and innovation in education.
Graduating students will mount a series of exhibitions leading up to Commencement, including the Senior Invitational Exhibition at Woods-Gerry Gallery, the RISD Graduate Student Exhibition at the RI Convention Center, a graduate student show at Sol Koffler Graduate Student Gallery and the Senior Film/Animation/Video Festival at the RISD Auditorium. Details about each can be found at http://www.risd.edu/About/Galleries_Exhibitions/
For more information on RISD’s 2011 Commencement, visit www.risd.edu/commencement
A leading figure in the field of aesthetics, Arnold Berleant has taken all three of these disciplines in new directions by asking fundamental questions about the nature of beauty in art, the natural world and our built environment. A lifelong academic, he is a professor emeritus at Long Island University, founding editor of the online journal Contemporary Aesthetics and the author of seven books, including, most recently, Sensibility and Sense: The Aesthetic Transformation of the Human World (2010). Berleant’s work centers around the idea that all aesthetic experience is contextual, and that its core elements – the creation of an object or environment as well as our experience of it – are fluid and interdependent, bound up in a process he calls ”aesthetic engagement.” His work on environmental aesthetics and ethics both draw on and have influenced a wide range of disciplines, from landscape architecture to urban design to environmental studies. Berleant is an Honorary Life Member of the International Association for Aesthetics and an honorary member of the French Society of Aesthetics.
Bill Moggridge, director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in Manhattan, will also deliver the keynote address to the graduating class at Commencement. A visionary interaction designer, he is one of the first people to integrate human factors into the design of software and hardware, which he discusses in his book Designing Interactions. Among his many accomplishments, Moggridge designed the world’s first laptop computer, the GRiD Compass, in 1981. (It launched in 1982 at a price tag of $8,150). The groundbreaking prototype was the first portable computer to be flown into space, and with its clamshell case opening to a display screen on top and keyboard below, it went on to define the look of portable computers in subsequent decades. As an industrial designer, Moggridge initially started his own business and in 1991 co-founded the design and innovation firm IDEO, playing a leading role in developing design methods for interdisciplinary teams. Since 2000 he has advocated passionately for the value of design in everyday life – by writing books, producing videos, giving presentations and teaching. At a White House ceremony in 2009, he was honored with the Cooper-Hewitt’s Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2010 was appointed director of the national design museum.
Mierle Laderman Ukeles
Mierle Laderman Ukeles is a New York-based conceptual artist whose action-oriented public art confronts the endless maintenance and service work that allows cities to run and all human activity to thrive. Her work has been exhibited across the country and around the world, with installations, performances and public art pieces in Paris, Oslo, London and Jerusalem. She has taught at Yale, the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia, and earned grants and fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim, Andy Warhol and Joan Mitchell foundations, among others. And since 1977, she has served as the official and unsalaried artist-in-residence at the Department of Sanitation in New York City. Ukeles’ exploration of public sanitation grew out of her personal experience of motherhood: In the late ’60s she wrote Manifesto for Maintenance Art, 1969!, proclaiming her role as a mother that of a maintenance artist and challenging conventional divides between public/private, artist/mother. From her recent work remaking landfills into urban parks to her choreographed “work ballets” with parades of garbage trucks and tons of recyclables, Ukeles has transformed the invisible routines of cleaning, serving and maintenance into radical art statements. In one of her most famous large-scale performances, Touch Sanitation, she spent nearly a year going around New York City shaking hands with more than 8,500 garbage workers – drawing attention to issues of ecology and sustainability as well as degrading stereotypes.
About Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has earned a worldwide reputation as the preeminent art and design college in the country. Today, with more than 26,000 alumni, the college enrolls nearly 2,000 undergraduates and 400 graduate students from the United States and almost 50 countries, offering degree programs in the fine arts, architecture, and design disciplines, and art education. Academic programs include research and design initiatives, the exploration of art criticism and contemporary cultural concerns, as well as international exchange programs. Each year, RISD hosts prominent and accomplished artists, critics, and authors to its campus. Included within the college is The RISD Museum of Art, which houses a world-class collection of art objects from Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome and art of all periods from Asia, Europe and the Americas, as well as the latest in contemporary art. For more information, visit www.risd.edu or our.risd.edu.