The Rhode Island School of Design


The Rhode Island School of Design, or RISD (pronounced “risdee”), is Brown University’s little brother to the west, on the downward slope of College Hill facing downtown. It has produced many creative artists: I will name only Seth MacFarland and the Talking Heads, but there are lots more.

When I went to hear Lynda Barry a while back, I entertained myself before the presentation by watching the audience (mostly RISD students) coming in. Ah, kids, they appear to be having a lot more fun than the average college student! They were dressed very entertainingly. One had a hoodie like a faux panda, made to look as if the panda was eating her head from behind. Another’s hoodie was (I think) Piglet from “Winnie-The-Pooh.” There were lots of other interesting hats, from various cultures around the world, and from no culture at all.

Hair color: why stop with one? A little blue on this side, maybe some crimson on the other.

And did you ever think the 1990s would be retro? The kid sitting next to me had a flannel shirt and a mock-Rasta hairstyle and a kind of Peruvian jacket; he was carrying his skateboard, and it dropped and rattled noisily, and he looked at me very apologetically.

O my the faculty! One was very dignified, balding, handsome, but wearing something that looked like Charlie Brown’s zigzag-embossed shirt. Another was wearing something like formal pajamas.

Everyone was having a wonderful time. More than that: they were having a lot more fun than I remember having in college.

Is it too late for me to get a degree in design?

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: