Rhode Island School of Design Unveils New Strategic Plan

August 27, 2019

NEXT: RISD 2020-2027 builds on RISD’s progressive roots and willingness to experiment, iterate and embrace change

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is pleased to release NEXT: RISD 2020-2027, the institution’s seven-year strategic plan. Created collaboratively by members of the RISD community, NEXT sets a clear direction in anticipation of RISD’s 150th anniversary in 2027, proposing new models for educating students for the future and bringing innovative creative practices to bear on today’s most critical social, political and environmental challenges.

“This plan sets the course for where we will focus next in leading art and design education,” said RISD President Rosanne Somerson. “NEXT is situated within a complex social fabric comprised of generational and demographic changes, along with critical global issues such as climate change, equity and access to higher education. I am proud of the values we articulate in this plan—values that will guide how we use our resources to successfully support our ambitions and achieve RISD’s best and most sustainable future.”

Empowered by the unique gifts of questioning, making and communicating, the RISD community is positioned to address urgent global challenges at the intersection of sustainability, social justice and innovation.

Broadly, NEXT: RISD 2020-2027 sets forth a vision for the community to:

• 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

“Our shared future—as citizens of the world and as an institution—requires thoughtful intervention in the critical challenges of our time,” added Somerson. “With an institutional commitment to creating just societies, a sustainable planet and new ways of making and knowing, we have a responsibility to act with urgency and to respond with empathy. As we implement the plan I am confident that we will achieve an exciting future for RISD, one that ensures that we provide an unparalleled education to the next generation of creative leaders, supports the excellence of our faculty, and helps RISD to make lasting and important contributions to the world.”

Visit risd.edu/next to download the full plan.

About Rhode Island School of Design
RISD’s mission, 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. The college’s strategic plan NEXT: RISD 2020-2027 sets an ambitious vision for educating students for the future and bringing creative practices to bear on the creation of just societies, a sustainable planet and new ways of making and knowing. RISD’s immersive model of art and design education, which emphasizes critical making through studio-based learning and robust study in the liberal arts, prepares students to intervene in the critical challenges of our time. Working with exceptional faculty and in extraordinary specialized facilities, 2,500 students from 69 countries engage in 42 full-time bachelor's and master's degree programs. RISD's 30,000 alumni worldwide testify to the impact of this model of education, exemplifying the vital role artists and designers play in today’s society. Founded in 1877, RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”) and the RISD Museum help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region. Find more information at risd.edu.