Exhibition and Symposium Exploring Role of Craft

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is hosting an exhibition and symposium as part of a partnership launched in 2017 with the Ministry for Tourism, Air Transport, Handicrafts and Social Economy of Morocco, La Maison de l’Artisan and Holmarcom. Crafting the City, the multi-year pilot program, focuses on the role of craft in the built environment of Morocco.

Shared Languages: Works in progress from the studios Centre de Formation et Qualification des Métiers de l’Artisanat Al Batha, Fés (CFQMA) and RISD, Providence opens on October 23 at Fleet Library at RISD (15 Westminster Street, Providence, RI). Wes Sanders, exhibition designer. Eduardo Benamor Duarte, Gwen Farrelly and Mark Moscone, exhibition co-curators. Opening times and access details available here.

The exhibition highlights work in process by artisans at the CFQMA in Fés and RISD students engaged in the pilot program. It focuses on the languages of making, materials and process shared by the artisans and art and design students, while also celebrating their diverse approaches to craft and design.

Through the pilot program, participants are exploring the rich opportunities and challenges in creating platforms of exchange to bridge craft and design pedagogies. The two-day symposium Shared Languages: Crafting Cross Cultural Exchange will focus on platforms, programs and models established to create meaningful and reciprocal learning exchanges among art and design students, educators and artisans across the globe. Key themes explored through panels include: the transmission of craft and design knowledge across communities of makers towards innovation and sustainability of all disciplines; platforms to create cross-cultural learning and exchange across design and craft educations; preservation and sharing of craft traditions and knowledge; and the role of craft within the built environment.

Crafting Cross-Cultural Exchange symposium runs from October 24–25 at the RISD Museum:

  • October 24, 2018, 9:30am–5:30pm, Metcalf Auditorium, 20 North Main Street, Providence, RI
  • October 25, 2018. 9:30–11:30am, RISD Museum, 20 North Main Street, Providence, RI

Details on how to attend can be found

Invited participants include: Maddalena Achenza, Assistant Professor, University of Cagliari, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture; Iman Benkirane, Director, l’EMADU of Université Euromediteranieene de Fés; Imane Bouchentouf, Architect, Ministry of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicrafts and Social Economy, Morocco; Raul Cabra, Founder, Oax-i-fornia, Oaxaca, Mexico; Swasti Singh Ghai, Associate Senior Faculty, Discipline Lead, Textile Design, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India; Marva Griffin Wilshire, Creator and Curator of Salone Satellite; Zhang Lei, Founder, Yuhang Rong Design Library, Hangzhou, China; Jung Youngsuk, Director, Arumjigi Foundation, Seoul, South Korea; Ahmed Zahouane, Pedagogical Director, Centre de Formation et Qualification des Métiers de l’Artisanat Al Batha, Fés, among others.

The pilot program includes a five-week travel course in Morocco for students to study craft in relationship to the built environment in Fés, a full semester on-campus course focused on the intersections of patterns within craft and the built environment, a seminar on craft in the Islamic world, and a one-week residency for members of Morocco’s craft community to be held on RISD’s campus. Each aspect of the program engages the RISD community with the depth and richness of craft in Morocco today while also showcasing the value of craft know-how and the role of craft within the built environment. A core goal of the program is to foster cross-cultural learning and exchange across languages, socio-economic realities and geographies.

Pilot program and partnership and related exhibition and symposium are made possible through the generous support of Holmarcom and facilitated by Maison de l’Artisan.

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.


Andrea Klabanova
Account Coordinator, Architecture and Design Blue Medium Inc.
T: +1 (212) 675-1800