Update from Global Partners & Programs

During Academic Year 2013-2014, the Global Partners and Programs Committee worked with the Office of Global Partners and Programs, among other offices across RISD to realize a number of exciting initiatives and support ongoing international programming.

The Committee work included:

1. Developing RISD’s Global Forum for (and by) faculty. The forum is co-organized by the Global Partners & Programs office and committee, and it is supported by Academic Affairs. It seeks to orchestrate conversations among RISD faculty and administrators by hosting small, focused events that bring together external and internal voices. Its long-term goal is to create a space for sustained dialogue and deep reflection on the impact of our current actions around the world and on what we strive to become, through current and future global engagements.

2. Piloting two “proto-fora,” which the GPP office coordinated, in dialogue with the committee: the first brought the expert of Modernism in the Arab World, Nada Shabout, to campus to present a dynamic evening that looked at this topic and the second invited Phil Tinari, Director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing to speak about Contemporary Chinese Art.

3. Leading two official Global Forum events in Spring ’14 with a session dedicated to “Istanbul,” where Nermin Kura gave an overview of art, design, architecture, and social and political changes in Turkey today. A second session addressed the umbrella topic “Ethical Making in a Global Context,” which specifically focused on global supply chains through a lecture and discussion with Richard Locke, Director of Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. Faculty, students and staff from across RISD and Brown University attended each event.

4. Supporting and coordinating RISD’s participation in the Kakehashi Student Creators Program, which the Laurasian Institute organizes and the Japanese Ministry of Culture supports. This program provided 11 RISD students (from Freshman to recent graduates) the opportunity to participate in a ten-day, fully supported visit to Japan with RISD Senior Critic in Textiles,Susan Sklarek. The students traveled to Tokyo and Kyoto and engaged in a series of workshops with peers at art and design schools in both cities.

5. Articulating a commitment to working with faculty and departments across the School to develop a transparent system and set of criteria for both reviewing and establishing partnerships with peer schools to enable student, and potentially, faculty international mobility and exchange.

6. Aligning the work of the GPP committee with the broader interests of faculty across the School: committee members led a half-day focus on global learning at the Spring ’14 faculty Congress.

For AY2014-2015, the Committee is committed to continuing the Global Fora and to mapping RISD’s international work and global engagements. Updates will follow as these projects get more underway.