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Designed to Help Find a Cure

For Jacob Riley-Wasserman 12 FD, what started as a companion piece for an outdoor grill became a way for the furniture maker to leave a legacy in his fight against cancer, even after his death last winter.

Designed to Help Find a Cure

Jacob Riley-Wasserman, Star-Spangled Spatula (red nylon resin, 12 x 3 x .25")

When he was a student at RISD, furniture designer Jacob Riley-Wasserman 12 FDwas working on making an outdoor grill when he designed “a companion piece” for it: a spatula that looks like the American flag. A year after graduation, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and in January of this year died of the disease at age 25.

Yesterday, as part of its Fourth of July coverage, the TODAY show ran a four-minute segment on the legacy of Riley-Wasserman’s Star-Spangled Spatula. As his parents explain in the interview, their son handled the disease with remarkable grace and resolved to do what he could to help fund cancer research through sales of the spatula, which hit the market in 2014.

Available in a classic walnut and stainless steel or four colors of nylon resin, the spatulas are sold through Flip for Cancer, with all proceeds going to support research to find a cure.

Cool Shades

New graduate Jacqueline Lung 16 JM is attracting attention with the sleek design of her Archytas stainless steel sunglasses.

Rethinking the Materials Lifecycle

New grad Fengijao Ge presents an innovative project at this year’s Antenna conference that repurposes textiles waste to combat erosion.

RISD Museum Effecting Change

Director John W. Smith announces deaccession of Head of a King (Oba) and plans to bring needed focus to Native American art and design via New Americas Research Initiative.