Graduate Studies-Funded Research Assistantships

Graduate Studies-Funded Research Assistantships

Projects beginning October 1, 2014 – April 30, 2015

The following faculty members were awarded GS-Funded Research Assistants to support and advance their research.  Congratulations to all.

Peter Yeadon – Interior Architecture

Smart bioplastics for architecture and design

The research focuses on creating novel bioplastics with smart material properties that are ideal for temporary applications in architecture and design.  The bioplastic will be biodegradable and emit light, conduct electricity, and/or change color.  The core compounds of the bioplastic are triglycerides, which are a waste byproduct of biodiesel production, and connective peptides and proteins derived from the collagen of cattle.

Leslie Hirst – Foundation Studies

Message Thread: a timeline of the written word through needlepoint

In 2015, Leslie will have a one-person exhibition at the Museo del Merletto (Lace Museum) in Burano, Italy.  Along with her drawings and sculptural collages, a visual timeline will be developed and presented that reflects the historical significance of needlework to the development of written languages.

Scheri Fultineer – Landscape Architecture

RISTC: Resilience to Climate Change: Testing Sculptural Forms for Coastal Habitat Restoration at an Urban Site

The project brings together an interdisciplinary, collaborative team of artists, designers, and biologists to improve coastal habitat quality.  The prototypes for forms were created and materials tested during summer 2014.  The project now enters a phase of creating visualizations of the forms in coastal locations as a tool for initiating discussions with the public, obtaining permitting from relevant agencies, and pursuing a second phase of funding for development and deployment of the forms.

Pari Riahi – Interior Architecture

Disjointed Continuity: Drawing in the Post-Digital Era

The research examines the transformation of architectural drawing in face of the developments fostered by digital media through the lens of continuity and disjointedness.  Assuming that continuity – since the Renaissance – and disjointedness – since the inception of the digital – are attributes of contemporary drawings, the book investigates drawing’s potential in sustaining the poetic imagination of architecture.  The proposed book (in consideration by Routlege) is a sequel to a first book that currently is in press.

Paula Gaetano-Adi – Foundation Studies

Mestizo Robotics (TZ’IJK)

TZ’IJK is a robotic installation that embodies Latin America’s anthropophagic, post-colonial and hybrid nature by employing a combination of high and low technologies in the development of a community of autonomous robotic agents made of mud. In collaboration with Gustavo Crembil, Professor of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, she engaged in a discussion of “mestizo robotics” that has led to an artistic robotic project based on Mayan creationist myth that criticizes the mainstream anthropocentric view of artificial life.

Stefanie Pender – Glass and Foundation Studies

RISD Glass Robotics Laboratory: exploring design opportunities at the machine-material interface through advanced fabrication technologies

Robotic fabrication promises an unprecedented opportunity for artists and designers to engage process as a mode of exploration. The proposed Glass Robotics Lab, unique in the global design technology landscape, expands on research strategies and design opportunities developed during collaborative workshops (2013-14) for combining emerging design robotic technologies and computational tools with traditional glass forming techniques.

Paolo Cardini – Industrial Design

New Craft – Hands on New Technologies 

Looking at the state of the art of desktop 3d printers, their diffusion in the market, and the consequent mass of printed artifacts populating the web, we are at a moment where the spread of a new accessible resource is faster than the time needed to understand its meaning.  How can new technologies be linked back to human activity?  I will deconstruct a 3d printer, focusing on single or multiple elements, and speculate on different ways to use them in conjunction with handcraft.  The research is part of a broader discourse on Performance Design where the focus of the project switches from final outcome to the process itself.

A new round of funded research assistantships will be announced soon.


Foundation Studies, Glass, Graduate Studies, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Leslie Hirst, News, Paolo Cardini, Pari Riahi, Paula Gaetano Adi, Peter Yeadon, Research, Research Assistantships, Robotics, Scheri Fultineer, Stefanie Pender

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