NATURE, CULTURE, INNOVATION: An Exhibition and Lecture Series


An Exhibition and Lecture Series

RISD (The RISD Initiative on Sustainability and the Environment) and Respond-Design have co-organized an exhibition and lecture series for the spring semester on the themes of nature, culture and innovation.

The exhibition will have open in the BEB Gallery Thursday April 8th 6pm-8pm and will run until April 23rd. Please come to view cutting-edge RISD student and faculty work in sustainable design, nature-culture studies and biomimicry and sample RISD Catering’s organic and locally sourced food and drink.

Additionally, feel free to feed your mind with the following lectures:

Cameron Tonkinwise
“Sustainable Design is Something You Have to Do; and then Redo, and Redo, and…”

 Wednesday, March 24th, 6:00pm/BEB 106
Cameron Tonkinwise is Chair of Business Design and Sustainability at the School of Design Strategies at Parsons’ New School for Design. He is also Co-Chair of the Tishman Environment and Design Center at the New School.  Before coming to New York in 2008, Cameron was Director of Design Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney and Executive Officer of Change Design, formerly known as the EcoDesign Foundation, an independent sustainable design think-tank. Cameron¹s Ph.D. concerned the teaching strategies of the philosopher Martin Heidegger, and he continues to explore what design can learn from philosophy and philosophy from design. Cameron¹s current research concerns reducing society’s intense materials consumption through design that affords more sustainable living habits and service systems that enable shared-product-use.
This presentation will critically review the tendency of sustainable design thinkers to believe that holistic mindsets are a once-and-for-all solution to the development of a more sustainable societal future. It will argue that holism is not possible with respect to design, that what is needed are not simple or singular mindsets, but repeated design actions and that sustainability is an interminable practice; or that interminability is a way of understanding sustainability. In short, sustainability is ineluctably political, as, but also with and beyond, design.

This lecture is part of the Liberal Arts Lecture Series and was funded by the Humanities Fund

Sergio Palleroni
“Architecture as Civic Environmentalism”
Tuesday, April 13th, 2010, 4:30 pm, CIT 103

Sergio Palleroni holds a  University Professorship in Sustainability at Portland State University , and was a Professor at the University of Texas, Austin, and the University of Washington for 18 years where he  founded the Basic Initiative (, a multidisciplinary fieldwork program which each year challenges students from US and schools worldwide into apply their education in service of the problems facing marginalized communities throughout the world. He has worked on sustainable architecture and community design in the developing world since the 1970’s both for not-for-profit agencies and governmental and international agencies such as UNESCO, World Bank, and the governments of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Taiwan. His work  with students has received numerous national and international awards, including the 1997 American Institute of Architects/Association of Collegiate Schools of  Architecture National Education Award; the 2003 and 2006 NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education; the 2005 US National Design Award given annually by the Smithsonian; the USGBC’s National Sustainable Education Award for his work on the Alley Flat Initiative; and international design awards from Mexico, Colombia, Japan, Taiwan, Greece, Spain, and the US for his work making sustainability accessible to the traditionally underserved. The work of the BASIC Initiative has been most recently been documented in Studio At Large: Architecture in Service of Global Communities (2004), Building a Straw Bale House (2005), and Architecture Like You Give a Damn (2006),  Teaching Sustainability in Asia (2007), Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism (2009), as well several television programs, including, “Green for All” a segment in the PBS series Design e2  (2006)all  which explore BASIC Initiatives’ efforts to improve, and make sustainable, the lives of the globe’s poorest citizens. Brent Brown
“Architecture as Political Act”
Tuesday, April 13th, 2010, 4:30 pm, Room: CIT 103

Brent A. Brown, AIA, LEED AP is a Dallas based architect working to bring design thinking to all communities.  He is the Founding Director of the buildingcommunity WORKSHOP where AIA/Dallas honored his work in 2007 & 2008 with Awards for Community Design and most recently with the Excellence in Sustainable Design Award.

Brent assisted Central Dallas CDC in the development of Citywalk@Akard, a 200 unit downtown high-rise conversion project with 50 units dedicated to the formerly homeless and has completed the design for the Jubilee Park Center where his work continues to involve a community based approach empowering residents with a focus on social equity.  In partnership with San Francisco- based Urban Re:vision he recently organized an international design effort to create a sustainable block in downtown Dallas.

In the fall of 2009 he was named the Director of the newly established Dallas CityDesign Studio.  The Studio will be an office of the City of Dallas in partnership with the Trinity Trust Foundation. The CityDesign Studio will raise the design consciousness of Dallas, while balancing social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability towards enhancing livability for all Dallas residents.

He earned his Bachelor of Environmental Design and Master of Architecture from Texas A & M University where he taught design. He later attended Harvard University’s Affordable Housing Program where he discovered an interest in delivering more thoughtful, affordable solutions.

Recent lectures include, Re-Thinking the City Symposium at the University of Texas at Austin and the inaugural Sustainable Cities Design Academy held in Boston in early 2009 and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Conference in New Orleans and the USGBC Greenbuild Conference in Phoenix, AZ.

The Palleroni and Brown lectures have been funded by the RISD Department of Interior Architecture and are part of its departmental lecture series.


Scroll Up