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NEXT: RISD 2020-27

NEXT, RISD’s seven-year strategic plan (PDF), builds on our progressive roots and willingness to experiment, iterate and embrace change.

Created collaboratively by members of the RISD community, the strategic plan proposes how we intend to educate students for the future and bring our current creative practices to bear on today’s most critical social, political and environmental challenges.


  • further diversifying our community and expanding access to RISD
  • advancing understanding of social equity and inclusion through research and education
  • promoting civic learning and action through cohesive community engagement practices


  • adopting renewable energy sources and green building practices on campus
  • advancing critical research at the nexus of art, design and living systems
  • aligning our research and studio work in this area with a global network of experts


  • developing innovative curricula and pedagogy that reflect our values
  • increasing our overall research capacity and output
  • establishing an ecosystem of labs to support interdisciplinary inquiry and exchange

Implementing the plan

To translate strategies into action, RISD’s senior leadership is working through existing committee structures or creating working groups that will research and recommend specific courses of action to implement initiatives referenced in the plan. These leaders are also working directly with deans, department heads and other members of the campus community to develop action plans with specific goals for each year, along with annual progress reports that track our success.

Every member of the RISD community—on campus and off—makes significant contributions to this effort and is essential as we work together to move RISD forward.

Take a moment to review our Year One Implementation Plan and check this page frequently to find updates on progress and metrics. Questions? Email

Social Equity and Inclusion

In today's interconnected, rapidly changing world, members of the RISD community benefit from a heightened level of intercultural literacy and global awareness. Our community also shares core principles of inclusion, equity, access, agency and mutual respect, both on campus and more broadly through our individual interactions in the world. RISD's Social Equity and Inclusion Action Plan details important steps members of our community are taking to ensure that we uphold these values and fully integrote them into the fabric of our campus culture.

Campus Master Plan

Starting in 2012, the RISD community set out on a master plan process in support of the college's 2012-2017 Strategic Plan. Rather than taking a 20th century approach to master planning, developing a static list of projects, RISD chose to develop a set of dynamic and responsive tools calibrated to sustain long-term core values, principles and policies. This master plan was designed to persist through future changes in leadership, economic variability, and pedagogical and technological advances.

Advancing our vision

Strategic Plan Grounded in Global Reality

NEXT: RISD 2020–2027 presents a vision for addressing issues of social and environmental justice through innovation.

Continuing the Climate Conversation

Presenters at RISD’s second annual Climate Futures symposium renewed an inspiring dialogue about design and the Green New Deal.

Reconnecting an Urban Community

Students in a fall Landscape Architecture studio collaborate with residents of Fall River, MA on interventions for revitalizing the city’s downtown.