RISD Kicks off Manufacturing Month, Introduces New Collaboration Facility
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), a New England Council member, kicked off National Manufacturing Month—October– a few days early on September 29 with an Art, Design and Manufacturing event and the debut of a new creation and collaboration-centered facility.
Recognized for its deep roots in local manufacturing, RISD began the day-long celebration with a design charrette involving 60 community members. Throughout the day, officials introduced new programs, including STEAMengine, a center for design and manufacturing, and a new Product Development and a manufacturing certification program that will be launched January 2015. RISD capped off the day by announcing the grand opening of Co-Works, a shared on-campus space where faculty and students from different disciplines will explore and advance the use of materials and making practices. Congressman David Cicilline, a strong supporter of strengthening U.S. manufacturing and a champion of the “Make it in America” agenda, welcomed attendees to the opening and helped introduce Co-works.
“Rhode Island is the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution and has a long manufacturing history,” said Congressman Cicilline, “Government, business, non-profit and academic partnerships will help ensure Rhode Island continues to be at the forefront of advanced manufacturing, which relies heavily on design and innovation excellence and I’m especially pleased to help unveil Rhode Island School of Design’s new Co-Works space to educate and train the next generation of innovators at RISD.”
The launch of Co-works and the rest of the day’s activities were part of the STEAM mission, an initiative that aims to include art and design to the national Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) agenda. The STEAM initiative was championed by RISD, and has since become a national movement. The New England Council commends RISD for its commitment to New England manufacturing, and for spurring an important nationwide discussion with STEAM.