Rhode Island School of Design Announces Collaboration with Murray Moss

Partnership centers on innovative frameworks for teaching and thinking about design

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Murray Moss, founder and creative mind behind world-renowned MOSS design gallery and shop, have begun a unique partnership that aims to explore the expansive and integrative nature of design today. Bringing together Moss’ expertise with the “made world”—throughout its 18 years of operation, MOSS was a place to learn and share information and discoveries across a vast spectrum of design and art disciplines—and RISD’s global leadership in art and design education, the collaboration centers on innovative frameworks for teaching and thinking about design.

Evolving throughout RISD’s 2018-19 academic year, the partnership will commence in fall 2018 with two public lectures by Moss, each to be followed by an associated graduate-level workshop. The lectures will take place in RISD’s Metcalf Auditorium (Chace Center, 20 North Main Street, Providence, RI) and will be streamed via livestream.com/RISD.

In Search of Narrative | October 10, 2018, 6:30 pm
Is there a “life story” embedded in particular inanimate objects? In all objects? Does the designer address not only formalistic aspects of an object, but also narrative? These questions provide the foundation for Moss’s exploration of object narratives, and his belief that every object, whether categorized as functional, decorative, or as art, contains a complicated narrative that points to the fundamental intersection of persons and things in modern life.

Interdisciplinary Design Becomes the Norm | November 13, 2018, 6:30 pm
The late 20th century was marked by a tearing down of the walls between disciplines. How does this revolution lead to evolution in the way we imagine new possibilities of “making”? Do the cracks in the now anachronistic silos expose more expansive, integrative forms of design we see today? Moss will draw on his seminal role in setting the stage for contemporary design in the US.

The corresponding workshops, which will be held in the RISD Museum and capped at 15 students, will help students grow their critical vocabulary, oral presentation skills and understanding of central concepts in today’s design world as they prepare to enter their professional practice. Drawing on the Museum’s rich collection, Moss will reference a range of works that offer new paradigms for the future of design.

“From 18th century methods still employed by ancient manufactories to produce porcelain figurines, to advanced technologies, such as additive manufacturing, that are revolutionizing industrial production, throughout my career I have enjoyed identifying new common denominators between artistic disciplines,” noted Moss. “I have appreciated making links through displays, highlighting juxtapositions and stimulating perception, as well as tearing down long-established silos. I look forward to imparting these concepts to students via new constructs at RISD.”

“One of Murray’s strengths of vision is in positioning things in unfamiliar contexts that produce unexpected resonances, guided by his eye and his knowledge of the designs and their creators,” said RISD President Rosanne Somerson. “At RISD, where immersive making is fundamental to critical and integrative thinking, the customized set of experiences that Murray has designed will foster dialogue around object narratives and interdisciplinary design. The unique construct for the collaboration, based on an unconventional model of moving the classroom into an object collection, and the collection into idea development, will aid students in the advancement of their own practices. We look forward to seeing how this opportunity inspires the next generation of creative leaders.”

On the heels of the fall programming, in spring 2019 a graduate-level interdisciplinary RISD course will take place off campus at Torpedo House, Moss’ residence and in-house conference center in Hamden, CT. This course will offer students a rare opportunity to view and discuss Moss' personal juxtapositions on display throughout his private space, combining pieces from his own collection.

About Rhode Island School of Design
The mission of RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”), through its college and museum, is to educate students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, to discover and transmit knowledge and to make lasting contributions to a global society through critical thinking, scholarship and innovation. Our immersive model of art and design education emphasizes robust liberal arts studies and conceptually driven studio-based learning in full-time bachelor's and master's degree programs across 19 majors. RISD's exceptional faculty foster student growth and development in extensive specialized facilities, enabling students to become confident, cross-disciplinary thinkers and nimble problem-solvers ready to confront the complexities of global practice in the 21st century. More than 27,000 alumni worldwide testify to the impact of a RISD education, exemplifying the vital role artists and designers play in defining global innovation. Founded in 1877, RISD and the RISD Museum help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region. For more information, visit risd.edu and our.risd.edu.

Murray Moss | Moss Bureau
Moss Bureau, a division of Torpedo House LLC, is a design consultancy providing strategic multi-platform advice and direction for a wide range of clients in the design industries. Founded in 2012 by Murray Moss and Franklin Getchell, owners of the legendary Moss Gallery in New York City, Moss Bureau offers a highly analytic and curatorial form of intervention in museum retail, legacy European manufacturers and clients in the hospitality sector. Clients include Starbucks, Lobmeyr, Georg Jensen, Royal Academy of Arts, Nymphenburg, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Baccarat, the Jewish Museum, Philip Johnson Glass House, Interior Design magazine and the Beijing Center for the Arts.