The 2011 RISD Graphic Design MFA Thesis Show is a group exhibition of selected thesis work from the RISD Graphic Design MFA Class of 2011. The show is published in a catalogue which will be displayed and distributed at the annual RISD Graduate Exhibition. The show is the catalogue, which is also the show.

Download the show (PDF).

See the process of the show.

RISD Graphic Design
MFA Thesis Show

May 20 – June 4, 2011
Rhode Island Convention Center
Exhibit Hall C
Providence, RI

Show opens May 19, 6-8 PM
Open Daily 12-5 PM

This is the collective effort of 15 designers, the result of five months of research, conception, and production.

The Graphic Design Thesis Show is a group exhibition presented as part of the Rhode Island School of Design’s annual Graduate Thesis Exhibition. The Graduate Exhibition shows the work of Masters’ candidates from 16 disciplines in a temporary gallery space installed in the exhibition halls of the Rhode Island Convention Center.

Our work exists in three challenging contexts: in the space of the gallery; in the expanse of the convention center; and in relation to each other’s work and the work of other designers and artists. How do we show graphic design in the gallery setting, and how can we make a coherent show from the work of 15 designers?

Beginning in January, we met regularly as a class to develop the concept and content of the show. We pondered how our show could support the graduate exhibition by creating spaces for observation and dialogue. We experimented with ways to make the show interactive and distributive. We developed strategies to tackle the extreme scale of the convention hall. Throughout, we discussed how to exhibit our very different bodies of work as a single, collective gesture.

Fluid working groups developed ideas which were fully explored through research into precedents, physical models, digital renderings, materials research, and budget analysis. A studio led by critic Rob Giampietro offered a forum to critique concepts and discuss strategies around the exhibition of graphic design.

During the course of the studio, we talked with Jon Sueda (CCA/Wattis) and James Langdon (East Side Projects), two designers who have recently curated shows of graphic design in a fresh and critical manner. We drew inspiration from the course reading Support Structures, an investigation of platforms of interaction between art, design, institutions, and space. We were particularly drawn to Antoni Muntadas’s Exhibition which strips the display conventions of the gallery of content, reframing the gallery space and exposing it as a system of display.

The show draws further inspiration from other designers engaged in the critical exhibition of graphic design, including Peter Bil’ak’s Graphic Design in the White Cube (2006) and Julia Born’s Title of the Show (2009) as well as the cover of XTC’s Go 2 album by Hipgnosis (1978). In their work, these designers expose the systems of the conceptualization, production, exhibition, and distribution of graphic design.

This is the catalogue of the show, which is also the show. It is a collection of work from our individual thesis investigations; an index of the physical gallery space; and a record of our collaborative process. The show is a unified work that extends beyond the exhibition space and hinges on its distribution. The work is not complete until it enters circulation.

The 2011 RISD Graphic Design MFA Thesis Show exists on the walls of the gallery, in frames and on screen, on pedestals and under glass. It is in your hands and on the internet. Graphic design lives in all of these spaces, and it thrives in its distribution and circulation.

—RISD Graphic Design MFA Class of 2011

We would like to thank the following people for their support and help during the creation of the 2011 RISD Graphic Design MFA Thesis Show: Bethany Johns; Thomas Wedell; Anne West; Hammett Nurosi; Rob Giampietro; Mark Moscone; Bill Newkirk; Douglass Scott; Linco Printing; Jon Sueda; James Langdon; Prem Krishnamurthy; Alan Rapp; John Caserta; David Reinfurt; Eva Laporte; Julie Talbutt; Chloe Rein; Droste Cocoa; our studiomates, who tolerated our thesis antics with grace; and our friends, advisors, families, and loved ones.

Many thanks to Ali Qadeer for his hard work on the website of the show.

Photos courtesy of Dimitry Tetin.

For more information:

The process of the show:

Submitted by admin on Sun, 05/15/2011 - 11:28