Brown|RISD Dual Degree Students Share Multidisciplinary Capstone Projects

Crushed quahog shells artfully fill in a crack in the sidewalk

A small group of talented and highly ambitious students is selected each year for the Brown|RISD Dual Degree (BRDD) program in which they earn degrees from RISD and Brown simultaneously over the course of five years. To close out their undergraduate careers, students present their capstone projects in the Lindemann Performing Arts Center at Brown University. This year’s group offered a captivating and emotional look into their multidisciplinary work.

One of the presenters, Ivery Chen BRDD 24 FAV, spent much of her undergraduate career learning that film and computer science were more alike than not. “Both create a powerful, immersive experience, and that’s exactly what drew me to them,” she says. Chen’s experiences during her time in the program—including creating computer games and working as an AR developer with NASA—led to her dream internship as a technical artist at animation company Pixar. “My purpose is to inspire and to awe—the same awe I felt the first time I put on a VR headset. We should all strive to create and to inspire others,” she says.

Four colorful still by Ivery Chen
Colorful self portrait by Izzy Hettmansperger
Above, stills by filmmaker Ivery Chen; below, a colorful self-portrait created by Izzy Hettmansperger.

Apparel Design major Glory Lee BRDD 24 AP has been inspired by fashion since she participated in a contest designing outfits for dolls as a 10-year-old in South Korea. Today, she combines her love of design with her knack for marketing. Her senior apparel collection was presented at Collection 2024 and featured alongside her classmates’ designs in Vogue. Her looks featured a take on business office attire. “I wanted to take the audience into office fantasy while also reminding them of reality,” she says.

Izzy “Zigzag” Hettmansperger BRDD 24 IL also tapped into their childhood while creating their capstone titled Multiplicity & Bughood, comparing periods of their life with the life stages of an insect. They noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, they rifled through their junk drawers for trinkets in their childhood home to create self-portraits—a moment that catapulted their love of creation. Hettmansperger showed a video they made about the metamorphosis that happens inside a butterfly’s chrysalis, which combined their love of the natural world with their philosophical and poetic voice.

“This process of reflection has allowed me to accept that I have been many things throughout my life and will be many things in future,” they say. “My multiplicity is one of my biggest assets.”

Sharing a personal vision of her creative practice, Mehek Gopi Vohra BRDD 24 GD, who studied graphic design and neuroscience, believes that if she could understand how human beings think and operate, she could create better designs for them. She presented a project titled Mapping Dreamscapes, which references her dream journal and investigates how dreams connect us and whether we are part of a larger, collective subconsciousness. Using artificial intelligence and creative coding, she started understanding the basics of interaction design. 

Giant rubber chicken emerging from red building
Animation still of a journey through China
Above, a project by Mehek Gopi Vohra, who aims to integrate principals of cognitive neuroscience and graphic design in her work; below, a still by Tina Guo, who will study animation at CalArts in the fall. 

Naya Lee Chang BRDD 24 FD draws on her life experiences but focuses on the intersection of art and history in her work. Reflecting on her fascination with monuments, she channeled her artistic perspective and added a prosthetic arm to a statue of Caesar Augustus on Brown’s campus that had lost an arm somewhere along the way. “Debates over monuments sparked my interest in public space,” she says. “Every account of history is an interpretation.”

Chang presented numerous public art projects she created at RISD and Brown, including a piece in which she recreated the reception desk that used to stand in the bank that is now the Fleet Library at RISD. She also set up a scavenger hunt for viewers with information about the building to provide context and gave them the opportunity to win a 20th-century safe deposit box pulled from the vault beneath the library.

These are just a few of the excellent capstone projects that were presented in late May. To learn about all 14 dual degree graduates, visit this year’s capstone presentations website

Watch all this year’s capstone presentations on YouTube. 

Kaylee Pugliese / Top image: work by Naya Lee Chang
June 20, 2024

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Brown | RISD Dual Degree students present their capstone presentations to a live and virtual audience.