Sharma Sheds Interim Title
Pradeep Sharma, a designer, researcher, teacher and seasoned design strategist who has worked at RISD since 2012, has been named to the chief academic position of provost, effective immediately. After first joining the academic leadership team as dean of Architecture + Design, he has served as interim provost since January 2014.
“Since coming to RISD, Pradeep Sharma has proven himself to be a trusted leader, and an expansive and challenging thinker,” notes President Rosanne Somerson 76 ID. “He has fostered new forms of research as well as integration among the fine arts, design, liberal arts and Foundation Studies at RISD.”
As provost, Sharma works closely with the president to articulate RISD’s academic vision and direction. He leads a team that works together to prioritize teaching and learning initiatives and ensure that faculty members have sufficient resources to deliver on academic priorities. The provost also travels extensively to represent RISD internationally and speak about its successful approach to deep, immersive, studio-based learning.
“I deeply value the commitment to practice at RISD, where art and design are at the forefront of everything we do,” says Sharma, who holds a PhD in complexity management from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. “At RISD new technologies coexist with traditional technologies, new methods constantly evolve, ideas drive making, students want to change the world, faculty really know how to teach, the hand is conscious of the brain and ideas exist in the context of practice, culture, society and politics.”
Before coming to RISD, Sharma served as dean of the Bath School of Art and Design at Bath Spa University in England, where he led the academic programs and student experience, and managed the school’s operations, finances, facilities and quality assurance. There, he developed new degree programs, expanded research activity and built collaborative relationships with industry partners. In addressing the impact of new technology on the creation of art, design and the built environment, Sharma worked to incorporate digital technologies into various disciplines, while remaining committed to the hands-on studio learning at the core of an art and design education.
Earlier in his career, Sharma served as head of Art and Design at the University of Glamorgan’s Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Studies in the UK and worked as a research fellow and senior lecturer at Unitec Institute of Technology in New Zealand. In addition to his doctorate, he holds a master’s degree in Industrial Design Engineering from Teesside University and both a BA and an MA in Electrical and Information Sciences from Cambridge University. In addition, Sharma ran his own international design management and innovation consultancy practice for more than a decade.
In announcing the appointment, Somerson also highlighted Sharma’s “global perspective, intellect and collegiality” as attributes that will not only help advance RISD’s academic programs, but strengthen its growing impact on the world.
As the keynote speaker at RI Design Week, former White House Creative Director Ashleigh Axios 08 GD highlighted the role of design in delivering hope and change under President Obama.
Students in a summer bike-building class in Tokyo absorb contemporary Japanese culture and design aesthetics while honing their skills as makers.
Students enrolled in RISD Global Summer Studies classes explored international cultures, making traditions and design aesthetics.