digital disruptors | Jan 11, 2018 |
Have you shopped RISD’s new maker site?

RISDmade lets RISD grads share (and sell) their wares online, spotlighting fine art, clothing jewelry, home goods and other items made or designed by the school’s alums. The site helps buyers source alum-produced product, linking to makers’ websites to shop, request more info or commission work.

Quilt by Colleen Clines, (class of 2010, Master of Landscape Architecture) who runs Anchal, producing eco-friendly products from vintage materials, organic fibers and low-impact dyes
Quilt by Colleen Clines (class of 2010, Master of Landscape Architecture), who runs Anchal, producing eco-friendly products from vintage materials, organic fibers and low-impact dyes

The school says of the new platform, “The work highlighted on RISDmade is as diverse and eclectic as its alumni, yet it shares certain recognizable qualities reflective of the values RISD alumni bring to the objects they make: an understanding of materials, exquisite craftsmanship and a strong personal voice.”

There are no plans to manage e-commerce for the participating makers at this time. Alums must formally apply to be included on the site, meeting requirements like operating their own online stores, managing and transacting retail sales and maintaining inventory.

Additionally, as Christina Hartley, director of RISD Alumni Relations, tells EAL, “All work must be original and either made by hand or designed and outsourced in an ethical way by RISD alumni. There are two month-long application windows per year, and new profiles are added to the site during the month following the window.” The next “window” is March 2018.

Brendan Ravenhill (class of 2009, master of industrial design), runs Brendan Ravenhill Studio out of Los Angeles; courtesy RISD
Brendan Ravenhill (class of 2009, Master of Industrial Design), runs Brendan Ravenhill Studio out of Los Angeles, producing light fixtures and other objects; courtesy RISD.

The site itself, Hartley explains, is an example of the school’s “commitment to support and increase alumni engagement and lifelong opportunities balanced across the globe with our nearly 25,000 alumni in 94 countries.” It joins other alum outreach and events, including a juried alumni sale called RISD Craft, which takes place during the school’s reunion and parents weekend in the fall.

She explains, “RISDmade complements that effort in a way that provides support and exposure to our diverse and eclectic alumni population more broadly, allowing us to showcase alumni work worldwide in a consistent, ongoing basis. As a free resource available to everyone, RISDmade is great for connecting with alumni-run retail sites that offer a wide range of work across the globe—from fine art to clothing, jewelry, home goods and more.”

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