Anais Missakian has held a full-time faculty position at RISD for nearly 30 years. In addition to working as a professor and head of the Textiles department, she holds the Pevaroff-Cohn Family Endowed Chair in Textiles and serves as faculty mentor and academic program director for the Sheikha Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Fellowship for Emerging Artists, a partnership with RISD. She was interim dean of Fine Arts from July 2011–August 2014, providing leadership and support to 10 departments, and has served on the Brown/RISD Committee on Institutional Collaboration and the Fine Arts Acquisitions Committee at the RISD Museum. She was a faculty advisor on the collaborative NIKE Skin project, the Techstyle Haus Solar Decathlon Europe project and the Art in Embassies Rabat, Morocco project.
A 1984 honors graduate of RISD, Missakian also attended Central/Saint Martins in London and Michigan State University. Before returning to RISD to start her teaching career, she spent six years in New York working as a designer for textile companies including Decorator’s Walk and China Seas. As a design consultant for the textile industry, she designs collections for architectural interior applications and has worked independently and in collaboration with Laura Lienhard for such clients as the Kreiss Furniture Co., Sunbury Textile Mills, Quaker Fabric Corp. and Malden Mills.
Missakian also serves as textile lead at Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), a non-profit institute headquartered near MIT and one of the newest members of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) Institutes. She works collaboratively with a team of material scientists, engineers, textile designers and product designers to transform traditional fibers, yarns and textiles into highly sophisticated, integrated and networked devices and systems.
She lectures nationally and internationally and recently participated on the panel The Future of Textiles: Disruption and Collaboration at the Textile Society of America 2018 Biennial Symposium in Vancouver. She also co-wrote the chapter “From Raw Material to the Finished Product: Interior Textiles” for Rene Motro’s book Technical Textiles in Architecture, Construction and Interiors (Birkhauser, 2013).